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IMLA and AMI join forces to tackle lender service issues

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  • 23/09/2020
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IMLA and AMI join forces to tackle lender service issues
The Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA) will be surveying lenders to identify the challenges they face which impact service levels.

 

The surveys will be conducted over the next few weeks and the different factors which affect each lender will be examined.  

With the information received, IMLA will work with intermediaries and industry bodies including the Association for Mortgage Intermediaries (AMI) to find possible solutions. 

Since the mortgage market reopened in May, lenders have struggled to maintain service levels as they coped with high  volumes of business. 

Many have resorted to withdrawing products or repricing mortgages in order to manage service levels. An increased need to look at changing customer circumstances more closely has also slowed down underwriting timescales. 

Much of this increased demand has been fuelled by pent up activity during the property market’s lockdown as well as buyers and sellers trying to complete transactions before the stamp duty holiday ends. 

Kate Davies (pictured), executive director of IMLA, said: “The focus of lenders remains, as it should, on acting prudently and lending responsibly within their regulatory commitments and – ultimately – to protect borrowers.  

However, the current situation is clearly continuing to impact service levels and we need to identify the main reasons for this and try to find ways of alleviating the logjams.” 

She added that the association needed to be clear about what was “realistically achievable” with its solutions and try to manage the expectations of borrowers and intermediaries. 

“The Covid-19 crisis has emphasised the need for borrowers to be given good advice about their mortgage options, and I believe that most borrowers will understand and appreciate that good advice and responsible lending may take a little longer in these exceptional times. 

“We now know that we all face further restrictions on our lives – probably for another six months. But we also know, from the way the industry has coped so far, that we are up to the challenge,” she added. 

Robert Sinclair, chief executive of AMI, said: “We have an incredibly busy mortgage market at the moment. While the strong levels of activity we are seeing is certainly a positive sign of the sector’s resilience, it is continuing to present difficulties for lenders as they battle demand. 

“Whether we are advisers or lenders, we are all in this market together and it is vital that we work in partnership to find ways of overcoming these difficulties.  

He added: “This is a welcome step from IMLA towards highlighting and resolving factors that are impacting service levels for customers and we are eager to work jointly with its members as they evaluate their findings and identify solutions to the current challenges we are all facing.”

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