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Customers expect robo-advice to be quicker and easier than brokers

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  • 12/06/2017
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Customers expect robo-advice to be quicker and easier than brokers
The value of mortgage brokers in supporting customers with complex products as digital processes increase has been reinforced by a report commissioned by the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).

However, it also highlights that many borrowers believe it will be quicker and simpler to use a robo-adviser to complete their mortgage process in the future.

The research, conducted by Accenture for the CML, found that two-thirds of customers would prefer to speak to an adviser about complex products.

It noted that “they value speaking directly to someone in such circumstances because it presents them with the opportunity to ask questions and receive a personalised service.”

However, four in 10 customers surveyed believed that robo-advice would be faster and more convenient than talking to an adviser.

And a similar number wanted a blend of digital channels and others in which they can deal face-to-face with a member of staff.

 

Customer hubs

Lenders and other industry businesses questioned, identified a series of key opportunities and challenges that would present themselves as a result of the digitisation of the mortgage broker process.

The biggest opportunities were the potential to improve customer experiences and relationships, while the biggest challenges were presented by legacy systems and thinking coupled with the need for greater collaboration externally.

One of the biggest potential impacts raised could be the development of customer hubs.

These, the report suggested, have the potential to provide a central repository for all of a customer’s information that can be accessed by all the professionals involved in a property transaction, including brokers, conveyancers, insurers and lenders.

This would speed up the process and reduce reliance on paper documents, with the potential to develop them into a more comprehensive personal finance management platform, where consumers hold information and manage a range of financial products.

“Potentially, this provides the means to reverse the market, allowing lenders to bid for business rather than the customer applying to the lender,” it added.

 

Improving experience

In summing up the report, the CML said: “Technology has huge potential to reduce costs and improve efficiency in a process-driven sector like the mortgage market. But there are also risks of unintended consequences.

“To realise the full potential – and protect against risk – firms need to undertake detailed and careful analysis of their plans and ensure they have the clearest possible understanding of the consequences of digital change.

“The pace of technological change looks unlikely to slow. Firms may have different strategies and be moving at different speeds, but the industry is investing heavily.”

It concluded: “Digital change is happening, through a combination of technologies that improve capabilities that are hidden and those that are visible to the customer – because they are intended to improve the consumer experience.”

 

The full report and its findings will be unveiled at the CML’s MortgageTech UK event on June 27.

 

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