Borrower awareness and interest low on green mortgages, advisers say
A report from Mortgage Advice Bureau (MAB) showed that 65 per cent of advisers said their clients were not aware and did not understand green mortgages, up from 63 per cent in 2022.
The subject of green mortgages is also coming up less frequently, advisers said, with 16 per cent of conversations happening without a mention of product compared to 12 per cent the year before.
Advisers put this down to the uncertainty of 2023, with 52 per cent saying clients were more concerned about the rising cost of living which made it hard to broach the subject of EPCs and retrofitting.
Challenges with green mortgages
Regarding the difficulties around borrower awareness and green mortgages, 17 per cent of advisers said information overload was an issue while 11 per cent said conflicting messages made it hard to educate clients.
Some eight per cent suggested that the government softening its net zero requirements for homeowners and landlords made it harder to inform clients of green mortgages and seven per cent said there were challenges around the inaccuracy of EPC ratings.
As for how this could be resolved, 22 per cent of advisers said there needed to be more public awareness and education on the benefits of green mortgages. A quarter of respondents said lenders should offer more competitive rates and incentives, while 22 per cent said a broader product range was needed.
Some 82 per cent of advisers said they only mentioned green mortgages if they knew clients had or were looking at a property which met product criteria. Although awareness of green mortgages among clients is low, 45 per cent of respondents said there had been noticeable progress in the green mortgage sector compared to a year prior.
Still progress to be made
Ben Thompson, deputy CEO at Mortgage Advice Bureau, said: “The past 12 months have seen advisers dealing with numerous challenges. Rising interest rates coupled with the higher cost of living has meant that for many customers, the cost of their mortgage has been front and centre. However, it remains vitally important that advisers keep having these conversations to inform customers if they (and the property they own/are buying) may be eligible for a green mortgage.
“There is also still a lot of progress to be made in this area from an industry point of view, and more to be done to make green mortgages more attractive. This could be innovations that give customers the potential to borrow more, receive a lower interest rate, or by offering other benefits. As the market settles and finds a new normal, green mortgage innovation should be at the very forefront of the industry’s priorities.”
Green mortgages now offered by nearly six in 10 lenders – MAB
Mortgage Advice Bureau (MAB) polled 49 lenders and found that 59 per cent intended green or net zero mortgages to be a permanent part of their offering.
Some 12 per cent said green mortgages would become the norm and eventually replace the standard mortgage product.
Most lenders did not believe that green mortgages would overtake the market, as 84 per cent said they would remain as a product segment.
Little development in green mortgages
Although more lenders are offering a green product, 61 per cent of lenders said the market had not changed in the past year, while a quarter were unsure if there had been any progress. Just 14 per cent said there had been developments in the green mortgage space.
When it comes to product development, 39 per cent of lenders think expanding ranges to suit diverse borrower needs was the main priority while 16 per cent said addressing the affordability challenges of standard mortgages was the main priority.
Some 14 per cent said managing interest rate changes was more important.
Ben Thompson, deputy CEO of Mortgage Advice Bureau, said: “Climate change is an issue we all must act on, and the uptick in green mortgage products on the market is encouraging news. It’s important that this shift stays front of mind for both the industry and property owners, as energy bills and what we can do on an individual level to reduce our climate impact stays firmly in the spotlight.
“While the country’s net zero targets may seem far away, the reality is that we’re hurtling towards them at a startling rate. At a policy and industry level, we have a responsibility to push the housing market to a more sustainable future – one that is as energy efficient as possible. Green mortgage products – and the wider promotion of these – is one part of the puzzle, and now we must ensure these are being put to prospective buyers.”
Energy Performance Certificates: Fit for purpose or falling short? – analysis
In recent weeks, the government has backtracked on many of its net zero plans, such as forcing landlords to achieve a minimum EPC C rating in just two years. However, the long-term goal remains that property owners must continue to decarbonise our homes and improve their efficiency in the push towards a carbon neutral country.
But finding out how to achieve this goal is leaving residential owners and landlords confused.
Every home put up for sale or for let must have an EPC, a six-page report generated by a computer but fed with data collected in your home by an assessor.
It gives your home an energy efficiency rating from A – the most efficient, to G – the least. The better your rating, the lower your energy bills are likely to be. They are valid for 10 years, with each report listing recommendations to help you boost your score.
A report by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), however, said the EPC approach was one of “extreme simplicity”. Other experts claim that assumptions made about properties lead to inaccurate scores; recommendations do not lead to greener homes and heating systems that pollute the atmosphere score higher than ones that don’t.
Some would argue EPCs are “falling short” of increasing expectations from homeowners who want to know how to make their homes greener.
Nonetheless EPCs are the government’s approved measure of energy efficiency, but when it comes to helping homeowners become greener – are they really up to the job?
EPC objectives and incentives
When EPCs were introduced 15 years ago, the objective was to help incoming occupiers avoid getting into fuel poverty by telling them the cost of annual energy bills. But basing the rating on cost alone is no longer seen as the most suitable way to rate the energy efficiency of our homes.
Antony Parkinson, senior specialist, property standards at RICS, says: “Our knowledge and expectations are ever-increasing, so it is inevitable that EPCs are falling short of the expectations being placed on them.
“We understand that the greenest ways of heating our homes are not necessarily the cheapest, at the present time.
“If the government continues to use EPCs as the measure of the energy efficiency of a property, the methodology must reflect actual energy efficiency, including carbon emissions.”
Parkinson explained that currently EPCs don’t incentivise homeowners to install an air source heat pump – a form of low carbon heating powered by electricity – because it costs more to heat your house using one than a gas boiler does. If you have gas heating, you are more likely to have a better rating than someone who uses electricity.
EPCs ‘an inadequate method’
Sustainability consultant Martin Evans of Malthouse Consultancy, says EPCs are an “inadequate method” of trying to improve energy efficiency.
“The EPC masquerades as something it clearly can’t deliver. An Energy Performance Certificate sounds grand when actually it is an assessment that takes minutes and tells you the blindingly obvious.
“It should be a useful analysis of a building to see how well it performs now and what its potential is for the future. But it’s hopelessly simplistic.”
Recommendations include basic tips such as switching to energy efficient light bulbs and insulating a water cylinder. However, he adds that advice to install better insulation is useful.
“Anyone who is serious about making meaningful improvements to the efficiency of their homes should have a more thorough assessment carried out,” Evans adds. This could span two to three weeks and cost in the region of £5,000.
Phasing out gas boilers: Green mortgage rewards
Although the government has scrapped its EPC targets for landlords, it is still committed to phasing out gas boilers and has upped the value of the grant available for replacing them.
Meanwhile, ratings are still being used as incentives by banks and building societies. Green mortgages are available that reward homeowners who have the highest ratings by offering borrowers the cheapest mortgage deals.
But, those striving for a higher efficiency rate will find that EPC recommendations are not specific to their property and may not even be applicable.
Assessors explain it isn’t possible to personalise advice because the reports are generated by the software based on a standard set of questions and are meant as guidance only.
‘Based on science, not assumptions’
Pushing back on criticism that EPC ratings could be skewed by assumptions, Andrew Parkin, managing director of Stroma Certification, an accreditation body for energy assessors, says: “They do use assumptions where necessary – usually where something cannot be assessed or seen without being destructive.
“Any assessment process that must reach a conclusion needs to use assumptions. But these are based on established science, though by their nature they are usually averages or broad assumptions.”
As an example, if a homeowner can’t prove they have a certain type of insulation because they haven’t kept the warranty, the software assumes a default level of insulation that was common in properties of that type and age.
Parkin adds: “I do think EPCs are fit for purpose. But they are currently being asked to do all things for all people and they need to be adapted and improved in several ways.
“I feel that the methodologies used for EPCs are good and based upon well understood and continuously improving science. When applied correctly, they give a good degree of accuracy. They are certainly fit for the purpose that they are currently used for and are a great place to start for future policies, understanding how our buildings perform.”
‘EPCs are misunderstood’
An improvement for homeowners, Parkin says, would be to base the rating on cost, carbon emissions and the amount of energy a property uses.
At a cost of around £30 to complete an assessment, a quick turnaround is necessary, leaving assessors little time to linger after the checks are done to explain how the ratings and report work.
Domestic energy assessor Faye Handfield thinks EPCs are a valuable tool for homeowners but without being properly explained, the ratings and reports can be misunderstood.
She carries out EPC assessments for landlords who use her letting agency. She charges £75 and sets aside a morning or afternoon for the visit. She says it takes up to 30 minutes to input the data collected at the property onto the EPC platform. She then spends another hour in the tenant’s home to get a complete picture of how they use the property. Afterwards she discusses the outcomes and recommendations with the landlord.
“It’s tough hearing from assessors about how badly they’re paid and how much they’re disrespected for carrying out what I consider to be an essential document for the millions of people who own a house,” Handfield says.
“If they could spend double the time with owners to truly explain the results and what is going on in their homes, that change would improve our energy efficiency, consumption and attitudes by 30 to 40 per cent.”
Handfield wants to see more money invested in the EPC system, education for homeowners from the EPC community, lenders and energy companies and she wants assessors to be paid better so they can spend more time in the property.
EPC change on the horizon
For most homeowners, the EPC remains the most accessible tool to help them achieve lower energy bills and greener properties. So it will come as a relief that an update to the way your home is scored is due to be released in spring.
It’s expected to improve the accuracy by removing assumptions made on window sizes typical for the age of the property; it will take into account solar technology such as PV diverters that allow you to heat your hot water, and heat pumps will start to appear in the recommendations.
MAOE 2023: Product transfers are ‘a great opportunity’ in a ‘year of adaptability’ – Morley
Speaking at The Mortgage Administrator Online Event, Charles Morley (pictured), distribution director at Metro Bank, said that 2023 would be a “tougher market”, noting that UK Finance and IMLA gross mortgage lending forecasts for the year of £265bn to £275bn now looked “relatively over optimistic” as interest rate rises and the cost of living impact the market.
Morley continued that expectations for gross mortgage lending for this year were around the £230bn mark but this was not far off 2018 and 2019 levels.
“I think customers are going to need professional mortgage advice more than ever and also it is not all doom and gloom. Neither the UK mortgage market nor the housing market have collapsed and nearly every single lender remains within the UK mortgage market and wants to lend,” he added.
Product transfers ‘great opportunity’ for brokers
Morley said that product transfers were a “great opportunity” for brokers, adding that there would be “key spikes” of mortgage maturities over the months of June, July and August.
“This is an area where traditionally less than 50 per cent of business flow has been generated through the broker market but I think in 2023, we’re starting to see a significant sea change and greater activity across the intermediary sector,” he noted.
Morley continued that figures showed that mortgage maturities were going to rise by around six per cent in 2023 to £347bn, which he said was their “highest level”.
He added that UK Finance expected product transfers to reach around £212bn, but “early suggestions” imply that the figure could go as high as £220bn.
‘Key areas of growth” green agenda and technology
Morley continued that the “green” area of market will “develop at pace, not just because of EPC legislation but because of changing mindsets of the UK population”.
“I get a little bit frustrated about the market at the moment where we’ve got green products claiming to be green that offer a cheaper rate for an EPC A or B rating. I’m not sure they’re achieving a great deal apart from giving a cheaper rate to a new-build property,” he said.
He continued that there needed to be better education so people were aware of the EPC rating of their properties but also how to improve it.
“I think lenders, brokers and consumers have got to work together to actually drive meaningful and sustainable change across the marketplace because currently, green mortgages are far too niche and the climate crisis is not a niche story,” he added.
Morley continued that green mortgages needed to be brought into the mainstream and this would centre around price and relevant products.
“I think you will see more product development, I think, with EPC legislation around the corner, you will see a lot more than we currently have got.
“I think it will become a key product, the key choice. I think as soon as it starts to affect value of asset I think automatically it will then fire it straight into the mainstream of the market,” he explained.
Technology needs to ‘cater for absolutely everybody’
Morley said that this was the “first time in a long time that our industry is finally looking forward and not backwards or sideways when it comes to technology
He pointed to the pandemic popularising and normalising systems like Zoom and Teams, becoming a key part of business communication post-pandemic.
“[Technology] is going to continue to advance and I’d say to all of you is: don’t fear it, don’t resist it, embrace it because ultimately what it’s going to do is drive efficiency.
“It’s going to eradicate issues like rekeying and fundamentally it’s going to drive the process for the customer, consumer and mortgage broker,” Morley noted.
He said that he didn’t think it would be “big ticket change” but “small gradual change” that will “move the market forward”.
“I think successful firms are going to be those that combine technology with the best of their human skills and build the ultimate customer journey,” Morley added.
However, he said that technology had to “get to a point where it caters for absolutely everybody” rather than solely the digitally savvy.
“It needs to cater for somebody who finds technology tough, so therefore needs to be taken through the process all the way as well as people who are incredibly tech savvy, that can upload and do things incredibly quickly,” he explained.
Overall, he said what technology would do is “give much more certainty” around decisions.
Mortgage sector in good place for Consumer Duty, says AMI CEO
Speaking at the AMI dinner, Robert Sinclair (pictured) said: “All the conversations I have had with the regulator are, genuinely, for this sector that this isn’t about you.”
Sinclair said that the mortgage market was different to other sectors in financial services as it used a sourcing system, criteria search to run lots of comparisons and then give the best recommendations, whereas in other areas product comparison was not as exhaustive.
“We should stand up and be proud that actually we can say we do good things well, but that is not to say there aren’t things we can be better at.”
He said that there was “debate to be had” around standard variable rates, revert rates, early repayment charges and exit charges but these were “at the edges not at the core of the issue”.
Sinclair also said that broker fees could also come under scrutiny and it would be important to have “very clear policies” on fee structure.
Customers need ‘help and understanding’ around product withdrawals
Regarding short notice product withdrawals and lender repricing, Sinclair said that the “challenge here is at the sharp end of this, there are customers who need help and understanding”.
He urged lenders to “give us [brokers] as much information as you can” so brokers can help educate and inform their clients.
Sinclair also called for brokers to “take that information and use it sensibly and responsibly to make sure that the outcomes we have work for the consumer, and we don’t enter into…warfare that does nothing for either side but will only cause damage to the customer”.
He said that “technology should be making a difference” in rapid withdrawals.
“We are a market that is dominated by intermediaries now, and I don’t see that changing in any way in the future, but working together to get all this to work smoothly is essential.”
Lack of progress on EPC legislation ‘grave dereliction of duty’ from government
Sinclair said that the green agenda was a “concern”, noting that the government had tried to accelerate it with upcoming EPC legislation but had “since abdicated their responsibility in terms of doing anything tangible around this”.
“That’s a grave dereliction of duty, in my view. I do worry about the planet because I do believe that global warming is happening, and I do believe that we face a crisis of our own making. Therefore, we can either wait to be told or we can choose to begin to act,” he said.
Sinclair welcomed innovations from lenders on products, citing Nationwide’s zero green per cent additional borrowing deal as an example.
“The challenge…is to think about doing that in a way that works for the consumer not necessarily for your bottom line,” he noted.
“To every broker in the room, I think it is going to be necessary that you will be the catalyst for all of this, because consumers when they do get interested in this…will see you as a place where they want to come to talk about how to finance changes.”
He said that brokers would have to learn about retrofit, in the same way that they have an awareness of limited company and special purpose vehicles in buy-to-let, so they could point clients in the “right direction”.
Mortgage sector needs to ‘grow information’ about career opportunities
Sinclair said that it was important for the industry to “grow information” about the sector as a career and to market itself better.
“We are not good at trying to tell people in schools or universities what a good industry this is to work in, and we need to find a way of transforming that,” he noted.
He also called for better financial education in schools, so people were more prepared and understood things like tax, mortgages, credit cards, pensions and protection.
Exclusive: Belton joins MAB in raft of appointments; Murphy to retire
To further its ambitions within the mortgage sector, MAB is investing in a larger lending team which it said will allow deeper specialisation in green mortgages, facilitate innovative pathways for first-time homebuyers, and expand its expertise in specialist mortgages.
The advice group said this will bring closer collaboration with its lender partners and that the appointments align with MAB’s aspirations to become a leader in green mortgages.
Ex-head of lender relationships at L&G Mortgage Club Belton will replace Murphy as head of lending, reporting into Ben Thompson, MAB’s deputy CEO.
“With more than 30 years at Legal & General (L&G), and considerable experience in growing the L&G Mortgage Club, Danny’s industry knowledge and enthusiasm stands him in excellent stead for the role,” said the firm.
Working for a greener industry
Karina Gerdes is an internal appointment, after her ‘significant contribution’ to Environmental Social Governance (ESG) at MAB. She will work alongside Belton to drive the growth of green mortgages and further MAB’s ESG plans.
Steve Humphries, previously proposition director, later life and wealth, will take on the new and wider role of proposition director, mortgages. He will help firms and advisers to identify incremental mortgage opportunities across the wider market, including later life lending, as well as the increasing number of mortgages MAB are involved in that require more specialist knowledge.
Aaron Conlon, currently managing director at Fluent Lifetime, has been appointed to work with Humphries. This forms part of MAB’s decision to bring its Later Life lending proposition in-house, to ‘provide a more inclusive service’ to its business partners and their customers.
MAB said: “With vast experience and knowledge in this market, Aaron’s responsibilities will extend to growing MAB’s new Later Life lending proposition alongside Fluent’s.”
On the appointments, Ben Thompson, Deputy CEO, Mortgage Advice Bureau, said: “After so many years of Brian, it will be sad to see him leave MAB. We wish him every happiness for the future and thank him for his extraordinary efforts in helping MAB to get to where it is today. We will all miss him.”
Strengthened lender team
He added: “Separately, this is the right time for MAB to further strengthen its presence in lending, and so I’m delighted to welcome Danny to MAB as our new head of lending. Also, despite the clear 2050 net zero agenda for carbon emissions and the various housing and mortgage-related targets, green mortgages are hardly scratching the surface yet and need to grow. Danny and Karina will work closely in this area and help to stimulate greater momentum, and this is an exciting time to be pushing harder in this space.
“It’s also great that we have strengthened in more specialist areas, such as later life lending. We are keen to provide broader choice for advisers and greater inclusivity for customers through bringing this important area in-house. Appointing Steve into his new role will also help us to help more aspiring first-time buyers, ensure those with more specialist lending needs obtain mortgages, and again find ways for advisers to write more business and help more customers. It’s also great to have Aaron’s expert support alongside Steve, as he broadens his role to help MAB, as well as Fluent Lifetime.
“We are really excited about what these changes mean, and this investment will help us to provide greater support to all our stakeholders, and also grow our market share of new lending further.”
Clare Beardmore, director, Legal & General Mortgage Club, added: “Legal & General Mortgage Club has always championed the importance of collaboration, and we’re looking forward to continuing our work with all our key contacts over what is shaping up to be a busy summer. We’re committed to ensuring all our partners have the support they need and working with them to transform the future of our industry.
“Danny Belton has been at Legal & General for 35 years, and I’d like to personally thank him for all he has contributed to the Mortgage Club during his time with us. We wish Danny nothing but the best with his new role.
“We’re in regular contact with all of our Mortgage Club members, our partners, and our peers in the mortgage industry, and we’ll share more about our plans for the future in the coming weeks.”
In June, MAB announced its partnership with conveyancing comparison service Smoove to enhance legal services to its brokers.
MAB has more than 2,000 advisers offering mortgage, protection and general insurance advice on a local, regional, and national level to consumers and handles over £20bn of loans annually.
Green Finance Institute brings out broker handbook on green retrofit solutions
The firm said that this “practical guide” would help brokers understand opportunities in the mortgage sector through improving energy efficiency.
The handbook has nine sections in total, including chapters on understanding customer drivers and motivation, opportunities and benefits of green finance, approaches to retrofit, green mortgages, profiles of retrofit solutions and technologies, installer standards and quality assurance and policy and regulatory landscape.
The guide has been developed in association with Association of Mortgage Intermediaries (AMI), Building Societies Association (BSA), Energy Savings Trust, Equity Release Council, Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA), L&G Mortgage Club, Mortgage Climate Action Group (MCAG) and UK Finance.
The handbook has also been accredited as part of the London Institute of Banking & Finance’s (LIBF) CPD programme.
The GFI said that the green mortgage sector had grown rapidly over the past four years, going from three to 50 products over the period, noting that many brokers were “new to the opportunities that green mortgages provide”.
It continued that mortgage brokers had a “wide-ranging, long-standing and trusted relationships with homebuyers” and, therefore, had a vital play to role in decarbonisation of housing stock.
UK buildings account for around 23 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions.
Emma Harvey-Smith (pictured), built environment director at the GFI, said: “Rising prices are causing widespread concerns for both domestic and commercial energy consumers.
“Mortgage brokers are a key part of the puzzle when it comes to facilitating better insulated homes that cost less to heat and support a net zero future.”
She continued that guide would “provide the clarity needed for brokers to now be armed with enough information to fully support customers and clients on this journey”.
Harvey-Smith added that there was more consumer interest in financial products offering green solutions due to rising energy bulls.
“Now is the time to act, and the fledgling green mortgage market will go some way to benefit consumers seeking finance,” she noted.
‘Invaluable source of authoritative reference information’
Robert Sinclair, chief executive of AMI, thanked the key stakeholders and the GFI for working on the handbook, which he said was a “crucial learning tool”.
He said: “At AMI with our greenmortgageadvice.uk website, we are focused on bringing together a single source of truth on what is and will remain a complex area. Intermediaries will need to evidence their professionalism by helping guide consumers through the maze of how to reduce their carbon footprint.
“For most, the biggest single contribution they can make is to improve how their home works. Using this guide and other tools will put the mortgage intermediary at the heart of the advice journey,” he added.
Paul Broadhead, head of mortgage and housing policy at the BSA, noted that decarbonising UK housing stock to meet UK net zero targets was an “enormous challenge that will require action from every part of the housing market”.
He added that building societies and credit unions had a critical role to play and many were already providing finance to customers to retrofit homes. However, he said that to meet the government’s target this would need to “rise dramatically”.
He said: “Mortgage brokers are a key part of the solution to this retrofit challenge, given their dominance in providing advice to the majority of consumers taking out mortgages today. We strongly welcome the GFI’s handbook as a vital tool which will provide critical information to help borrowers to navigate the ever-growing energy improvement and green financing options available to them.”
Kate Davies, executive director at IMLA, continued: “Mortgage brokers are currently faced with a bewildering array of rules, regulations and proposals regarding the energy efficiency of residential property.
“We congratulate the GFI for producing this most welcome handbook – which provides brokers with an invaluable source of authoritative reference information. It will help them navigate their way through the jungle – and enable them to advise their clients with confidence and clarity.”
Businesses and consumers are still hesitant to adopt sustainable initiatives – HSBC UK video
Speaking on a HSBC UK video debate in association with Mortgage Solutions, when asked why there was a delay in implementing initiatives Tracie Burton (pictured), senior corporate account manager at HSBC UK said it was best to act now.
Burton said: “This is something that’s not going to go away the sooner we adopt it and onboard it with any changes that we need to make, the better.”
She added that if not, companies could “miss out on business” as customers may go somewhere else.
Sally Laker, managing director of Mortgage Intelligence, said there was possibly a “reticence” to adopt too many new things which were not being widely used yet.
Laker added: “Heat pumps for example, is that going to be tomorrow’s technology must have? Or is it the first version that might be quite expensive now only to find that there’s a different version in five years’ time that’s much more efficient.
“People have got to get their heads around ‘is that the starting model?’ ‘Is there going to be something that’s a bit more compact… and that’s a lot of money to spend if it’s not going to actually deliver the right result.”
Sitting and waiting
Burton said there was an element of sitting and waiting to see how others would approach sustainability.
She said businesses wanted others to “go first and if that works, I’ll follow”.
“Once we do get those guidelines, I think that will be the catalyst to lots of other things following quite quickly,” Burton added.
Michael Kallaras, managing director of Green Mortgages, said legislation needed to come first.
Daniel Kittow, managing director of Vibrant Energy Matters, said there was an absence of care and consequence.
He added: “The care is improving through education… but the consequence isn’t there. So, I think right now consumers and businesses are a bit hesitant. Waiting for everybody to take the plunge before they do anything because right now, there is no consequence for not doing anything.”
Watch the video [11:05] hosted by Shekina Tuahene, commercial editor at Mortgage Solutions, featuring Tracie Burton, senior corporate account manager at HSBC UK, Daniel Kittow, managing director of Vibrant Energy, Sally Laker, managing director of Mortgage Intelligence and Michael Kallaras, managing director of Green Mortgages.
Sponsored content in association with HSBC UK. For Intermediary Use Only
Discussing sustainability gives mortgage brokers more credibility – HSBC UK video
Appearing on a HSBC UK panel debate in association with Mortgage Solutions, Laker (pictured) said presenting clients with green mortgages which incentivise efficient properties and renovations would make them feel like they are doing some good.
She also said initiatives like planting a tree to offset the mortgage process would make clients feel like they are “putting something back”.
“It’s these kinds of things that resonate with customers, but it also gives the brokers credibility that they’re talking about something wider than just mortgages. It’s about a lifestyle as well.”
Greener attitude helps staff recruitment
She said this was also true with recruiting staff.
“It also comes through when you’re taking on new people to work for you. They’re interested in what the attitude is on green [issues] and sustainability. They actually care about the employer that they’re going to work for.”
Michael Kallaras, managing director of Green Mortgages, said external events such as record high temperatures and protests bringing awareness to climate change also drove the conversation forward.
Tracie Burton, senior corporate account manager at HSBC UK, said this applied to advisers and lenders as customers expected firms in the sector to answer questions around this.
She said brokers had started to include questions on sustainability into their fact finds too.
Watch the video [10:08] hosted by Shekina Tuahene, commercial editor at Mortgage Solutions, featuring Tracie Burton, senior corporate account manager at HSBC UK, Daniel Kittow, managing director of Vibrant Energy, Sally Laker, managing director of Mortgage Intelligence and Michael Kallaras, managing director of Green Mortgages.
Sponsored content in association with HSBC UK. For Intermediary Use Only
Business leaders should instill passion for the environment – HSBC UK video
Appearing on a HSBC UK video debate in association with Mortgage Solutions, Kittow (pictured) discussed how businesses should embrace the green agenda.
He said: “As business leaders we should be instilling through our businesses passion to care about the environment.
“It’s also quite cost-effective. Carbon offsetting programs are fantastic and cost as little as three or four pounds a month… small business leaders can make that commitment on behalf of their staff and encourage their staff to get involved in those types of programs as well.
“It’s about taking it seriously and caring.”
Sally Laker, managing director of Mortgage Intelligence, said it was not only about what people did while at work but also how they tried to be sustainable while at home.
Michael Kallaras, managing director of Green Mortgages, said it was down to brokers to inform the public about sustainability.
“Whilst they may want to be sustainable they might not know how to be sustainable. If we can allude to the products and options that are available to homeowners or home buyers then that’s only going to help with that matter,” he added.
Watch the video [11:28] hosted by Shekina Tuahene, commercial editor at Mortgage Solutions, featuring Tracie Burton, senior corporate account manager at HSBC UK, Daniel Kittow, managing director of Vibrant Energy, Sally Laker, managing director of Mortgage Intelligence and Michael Kallaras, managing director of Green Mortgages.
Sponsored content in association with HSBC UK. For Intermediary Use Only