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MAOE 2024: AI will do more of the ‘heavy lifting’ for mortgage administrators

  • 10/07/2024
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MAOE 2024: AI will do more of the ‘heavy lifting’ for mortgage administrators
Artificial intelligence (AI) will help to do more of the “heavy lifting” for mortgage administrators and elevate them to a more “strategic role”.

Speaking on a panel at The Mortgage Administrator Online Event (MAOE), Robert Sinclair, chief executive of Association of Mortgage Intermediaries (AMI), said that there had been several occasions over his 46-year career where technology was allegedly going to make roles redundant, but it hadn’t panned out that way.

However, he said that AI “will be another revolution where it will depend [on] how we choose to apply it”.

Sinclair said that some people, especially administrators, worried about AI and others wanted to embrace it, but the mortgage industry was one where “human intervention” was “really important” and “we’re not going to get to a point where all of this is automated away very easily”.

He explained: “What we will want to do is use that technology to do more of the heavy lifting, to allow the quality time to be spent interacting with the customer and using the technology to gather information and data and transmit information and data in the most efficient way possible.

“If we do it that way, and embrace it in a way that enhances the service proposition, as opposed to replacing it, that will keep us in a really good place as an industry.”

Sinclair added that while AI was the new technology on the block, as it were, the sector was “not using most of the technology we have today in a way that works effectively”.

He continued: “The way we work, and most of the work comes off the back of sourcing systems or search engines and then how we make applications to lenders, most of those are not working end-to-end at the moment in a way that’s efficient.

“So, until we build some of that stuff out, at the moment, fearing the advent of AI into the arena is just not going to happen in the next five years, in my view. So, you need to be aware of it, trace it, and to think about how we apply it, but how we get to a place where, genuinely, it’s part of the process that includes people I think is the right answer,” he noted.


AI onset could be ‘little bit faster’ than we expect

Liz Syms, CEO of Connect for Intermediaries, said that she thought “AI and the onset of that could come a little bit faster than we are perhaps prepared for”.

She noted that the sector potentially had to be wary of possible new entrants “without the current baggage of the old entrants perhaps coming in and playing in our arena”.

However, for those willing to “embrace it and adopt it”, it “will enhance the relationship that they have with their customers, improve service, improve speed”.

As an example, she said that Connect for Intermediaries was going live with an add-on for its client relationship management (CRM) system that would take the documentation that a customer gives it, like bank statements, and ensure it matches payslips, categorise it and help with affordability assessments.

“The real benefit of the AI is to remove some of that manual stuff that we’re doing, and then it really relieves the administrators to work on those things that are real value-adds for the customer, in terms of building [a] relationship, in terms of giving advice and guidance, in terms of talking about things that we don’t have the time or resources to do at this minute in time.

“So, I’m quite excited to see, you know, where it develops, and certainly within our business, we’re looking to try as many things as possible,” Syms said.


AI will ‘elevate’ administrators’ role

James Chutter, corporate account manager at Leeds Building Society, said that AI was “going to bring some definite improvements”.

“We’re not anywhere near Alexa being able to sort you out with a mortgage, that straight-through advice process has far too many working pieces to it. But AI will be able to do a lot more of the heavy lifting, and it’s going to be able to analyse a lot more data a lot quicker, and give us much more insight, which will have a massive impact towards the customer.”

Chutter said that AI will allow lenders to “offer more bespoke, specialised underwriting” along with “quicker service”, which will then have ramifications on risk assessment and products to create “more bespoke and interesting products”.

“I think the other thing to consider with AI is the risks that it comes with; it’s fantastic that it doesn’t come with any prejudice, but if you don’t give it the right parameters, it also doesn’t have any values, so AI can be used for fraud.

“It’s already been used for fraud in terms of creating fake documents, and if we add this into our business and you get those parameters wrong, then it’s going to create a massive issue, because if you’re getting it to do one job, and that job then gets done wrong 1,000 times, then it’s going to create a significant risk,” he added.

Chutter continued: “From an administrator’s point of view, keep yourself updated with this, because I think this will help elevate administrators from being that processor to a more strategic position in the fact that if they get the understanding of how to use AI, then they suddenly become into a more strategic position of being able to see the analysis that comes out and how it’s then used.”


Watch the 45:03 video above, chaired by Anna Sagar, deputy editor for Mortgage Solutions, with guests including James Chutter, corporate account manager at Leeds Building Society, Caroline Mirakian, sales and marketing director at United Trust Bank, Robert Sinclair, chief executive of AMI, and Liz Syms, CEO of Connect for Intermediaries.



Want to catch up with all the MAOE sessions? The videos have been uploaded to the Mortgage Solutions YouTube page here.

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