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Underwriting time has quadrupled under lender pandemic strain – iVENT 2020

  • 23/09/2020
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Underwriting time has quadrupled under lender pandemic strain – iVENT 2020
The time it takes for an underwriter to assess a self-employed applicant has increased from 40 to 50 minutes to three to four hours, Jason Hegarty, co-owner of Criteria Hub said.


Speaking at the virtual conference iVENT 2020 Hegarty said a lender had alerted him to the new timescales as a spike in activity added to the pressure already on firms tackling changes in borrowers’ financial situations. 

He said: “That’s a huge difference [in timescales] and that’s a real strain on the capacity of how many cases an underwriter can look at in a single day.” 

Hegarty said the additional information required by lenders was drawing out the underwriting process. Where 18 months of income would have been enough before, it does not tell a lender how a business is performing under current circumstances. 


How to navigate lender delays 

Hegarty said brokers could combat issues around service levels by thinking like an underwriter when submitting an application and giving as much detail as possible. 

“The more information you give an underwriter the better, if not they’ll just ask for it anyway. 

“You can ensure there is no delay as a result of something you’ve done. When you fill in an application, fill them in 100 per cent completed. Don’t leave any ‘to be confirmed’ address fields, it’s just going to cause a delay,” he said. 

Hegarty also suggested brokers log all conversations with lenders in case it needed to be referenced later or used to defend a complaint.

He said brokers should ask clients how quickly they wanted to receive a mortgage offer so they could make informed decisions about which lender to choose. 

Hegarty said: “Now is a really good time to understand what service levels are. There’s nothing wrong with excluding or including a lender based on their service levels. 

“If time is really important to a customer, that’s a really good justification for why you’ve chosen a particular lender even when they don’t have the best rate.” 


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