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Majority of brokers prioritise specialist lenders taking a view – UTB

  • 29/11/2022
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Majority of brokers prioritise specialist lenders taking a view – UTB
The ability of specialist lenders to take a view is the most important thing for mortgage brokers, with 99 per cent citing this as the most important feature for a specialist lender.

According to research from United Trust Bank, which surveyed over 100 mortgage brokers, this was followed by confidence in the case completing at 97 per cent.

Around 95 per cent said having knowledgeable staff was important, and 93 per cent said access to an underwriter was the most important feature. This was followed by flexible criteria at 92 per cent.

Other important factors include quick decisions, easy to use systems, business development management relationships and speed to offer.

The lowest rated features were electronic ID certification at 35 per cent, electronic signatures at 43 per cent and cheapest rate at 48 per cent.

Research added that brokers said the key factors differentiating mainstream and specialist cases were income, credit history, credit score, loan size and property type

Over half, 52 per cent, believed affordability was a “bigger challenge” for specialist cases compared to mainstream cases.

UTB said that this showed brokers’ wish for “more lenders in the specialist sector to be flexible in both criteria and underwriting”.


The top specialist lenders revealed

It added: “Having a more diverse market with plenty of lender choice is enabling brokers to place most cases. However, a handful have started to emerge as the ‘go-to’ specialist lenders, those that brokers return to time and again with more complex cases.”

The report also asked brokers to name specialist lenders they placed the most cases with in the previous 12 months. Together and UTB emerged joint-first, joint third was Pepper Mortgages and Precise Mortgages and Kensington Mortgages came out in fifth place.

Buster Tolfree (pictured), UTB’s director of mortgages, said that the key to successful specialist mortgage lending was “building the proposition around real customers from the very start”.

He continued that taking a view is something you can “build into the early stages of the application process, all the way back to what type of properties you’ll lend on, what incomes you’ll support and what credit blips you’ll overlook”.

Tolfree added: “If you have a good auto-underwrite system loaded with more flexible, common-sense criteria, then you don’t need a human underwriter to look at every specialist case.

“Yes, there will always be some cases where an experienced underwriter should have the final say, and that’s always an option at UTB, but technology can accelerate and simplify the journey for a lot of cases which just a few years ago would otherwise have needed a chat with an underwriter.”

He said that auto-underwriting was getting smarter and lenders were increasingly using fintech for processes such as secure document transfers and messaging, remote ID verification and e-signatures.

Tolfree said that while brokers were “rightly focused” on placing difficult cases, technology could deliver benefits in terms of speed of application, security and, eventually, the cost of specialist lending.

He added that it was good to see that, in a short time, UTB had become “one of the regular go-to specialist mortgage lenders”.

Tolfree said: “Our pragmatic, flexible underwriting, class leading technology and commitment to delivering quick and reliable mortgage offers has proved to be a popular combination with mortgage intermediaries and we will continue to develop products and services which enhance the specialist mortgage sector and deliver more successful outcomes for brokers and their customers.”


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