Responsible Life makes video consultations a permanent feature

Responsible Life makes video consultations a permanent feature

The later life mortgage broker’s advisers had to conduct remote meetings with customers throughout the pandemic while in-person visits were restricted due to the lockdowns.

These proved successful, so the company has now decided to make video chats a permanent option for its clients after large numbers said they prefer the convenience of not having to invite someone into their home.

Busy customers, and those with additional needs also found the method more logistically convenient, particularly when family members wanted to sit in on consultations but were in another location. Subtitles also help the deaf or hard of hearing instead of relying on lip reading.

Responsible Life has also found that video calls can overcome reluctance among some borrowers to seek financial advice early as many are put off asking for guidance if they aren’t confident that they will proceed with an application.

In-person consultations with a solicitor will still be required of those homeowners who go on to complete.

The RAC is launching with five advisers, but will recruit an additional 20 video-advice specialists who will work remotely or at the company’s headquarters in Plymouth.

Responsible Group is recruiting – it began filling 73 positions late last year and is on course to double its headcount by the end of 2023.

Steve Wilkie, executive chairman of Responsible Group, said: “We’re delighted to make remote advice a permanent fixture for those who want it. Aside from the fact that retirees are incredibly tech-savvy these days, we’ve also discovered there’s a reluctant minority out there who are more inclined to seek advice if it’s hassle free.

“Some people just don’t want to feel like they’re wasting your time but this is something we want to combat. A remote offering solves that problem, encouraging those who are uncertain about the way forward to seek the financial advice they need early rather than worrying about it.”

He added: “Providing remote advice will allow us to spend more time with more customers and forge relationships that may not progress to a formal application for years, or at all. But all these customers will have received free, impartial advice early and feel more confident about the future.

“Some customers will go through the entire application process without meeting an adviser in person, while others will take the first step remotely before inviting an adviser round to their home for a more detailed consultation. Customer choice is the key here, and anyone can choose to have an in-person visit should they wish. However, we’ll also have safeguards in place to ensure more vulnerable customers still receive longer, in-person visits if remote consultations are not appropriate.”