In the managing director of Coreco Mortgage Broker’s speech at the trade body’s annual dinner, Montlake said: “We have fought your case around escalating fees, with some big successes, whilst other successful battles and negotiations have been carried out behind the scenes, with always the focus remaining on the need for quality advice and the wellbeing of consumers.”
He added: “We are a consumerist industry after all, and it is important to clarify that being consumer focused can still put us at odds with the concept that cheapest is always best. For many of our clients, cheapest would most certainly not be best and we must avoid the commoditisation of mortgages in a way that will inevitably lead to poorer customer outcomes.”
He added greater technology use should strip out inefficiencies but not at the expense of sensible process and proper advice.
“Every so often I read a quote somewhere that basically says a new firm or product is here to fix this broken, unfair industry. It’s often from those who really do not actually have much experience or care about the industry to which they refer. It is important that they are not the only voices government and regulators hear.
“My view is the industry is not broken. It is one of the best run and well-regulated industries in the UK, with a rich vein of talented, professionally qualified and dedicated advisers passionately working all hours for the benefit of their clients,” he said.
“Stats show we are trusted, appreciated and our clients come back time and again to receive good advice. We can all improve, but we are never broken.”
Montlake drew attention to the guides issued by the trade body this year, spanning Brexit, vulnerable customers, and operational resilience. He also flagged the assistance the firms had given advisers with the senior managers regime, PI Cover or claims from notorious claims management firms.
The dinner, which was both the 2020 and 2021 dinners rolled into one, was hosted by Mortgage Solutions’ parent company AE3 Media and sponsored by TSB.
Montlake added: “I would like to thank my predecessor Martin Reynolds for all his personal help and advice, as well as conveying his intense happiness that he managed to miss out on his speech last year.”