Masthaven Bank’s broker beat survey, which collated the views of 186 brokers, suggested that the increased importance of flexible lending criteria was since brokers expected customers to be financially impacted by the pandemic in the next 12 months.
It added that because of the wind-up of government support schemes such as furlough, borrowers would need more personalised and flexible lending solutions.
Other factors which had grown in importance included speed and customer services.
Just over a quarter of brokers said low rates were more important now than before the pandemic. This comes as lenders have started to bring out sub-one per cent deals.
The findings reinforce the results of the same survey taken at the end of 2020, which also found that flexible lending criteria was a key concern for borrowers.
In comparison, 2019’s survey found 23 per cent of brokers said customers were more likely to prioritise flexible lending criteria, and only five per cent believed low fees were a priority. A further 35 per cent said low rates were at the top of borrowers’ agendas.
Masthaven Bank’s director of intermediaries Rob Barnard (pictured) said there was no doubt Covid-19 had been a driver behind customer’s shift in priorities, which would lead to customers look for lenders with a more personal and flexible approach.
He added: “While lockdown restrictions may have come to an end, the future still looks uncertain and the full extent of the impact of the pandemic is yet to be felt. However, the housing market has proved itself to be resilient, and by working together, lenders and brokers can ensure borrowers have access to the flexible products they want and need.”