However, Seb McDermott, CEO of Koodoo, warned there was a significant need to upskill the broker force to enable them to utilise the better data and technology.
McDermott, who was previously CEO of Dynamo Mortgages, added that he expected the regulator to make switching between lenders easier when conducting product transfers.
He told the audience in Manchester the pain of application submission will be one of the earliest to go.
“What I hope we see on average is the case time will go from about 10 hours to one hour, which will free up advisers to do a lot more business and spend a lot more time with customers who really need their help,” he said.
“I think we will see less time spent with customers that go nowhere thanks to the better qualification and on low value cases.
“[There will be] less document scanning and checking, less trawling through criteria, less-rekeying, less chasing the lenders and more time spent building customer relationships, bringing expertise to complex cases, taking a holistic approach to financial advice.
“So a lot more time spent on protection and potentially other products as well,” he added.
However, McDermott noted that using and trusting data to make smart decisions would need a significant amount of training for brokers.
“It’s all well and good having the technology that can do things in the background, but there is a big upskilling that will need to happen over the next five years to get people to actually use it and trust the data and understand how they use it in their decision making,” he said.
“We’ve spent a lot of time working with Countrywide and our team of advisers on training.”
As part of this brokers will need to become comfortable in a multi-channel approach to advice where technology will begin handling simple questions and exceptions handling, flagging to customers ‘are you sure about that answer’.
“But all of the complex questions will be handled by a human either face-to-face, over the phone or through online chat. That multi-channel approach is really important,” McDermott added.
Regulator targeting switching
McDermott also highlighted the current switching process could be one where the regulator would seek to achieve a more automated process.
“If you stick with your lender you can do it all online today and it’s just five clicks,” he said.
“The place the regulator and technology will push over the next two years is to make switching easier across lenders where a product transfer would have forced you to stay with the same lender.”
And he noted that while the progress of technology developments in the industry had been a lot slower than the hype promised, it was very important for advisers to have an online presence.