As brokers continue to dominate market share in the mortgage lending sector, 27% of poll respondents agreed this was reflected by rising service standards from lender’s BDMs. A further 18% of readers said service levels were not meeting expectations.
Figures released by the Council of Mortgage Lenders in August showed that broker market share reached a record 69% of all mortgage completions by value in the first half.
Jonathan Harris, director of Anderson Harris, agreed that some BDMs had improved their level of support but highlighted that better product knowledge and improved control of the underwriting process was needed.
“It is a pretty mixed bag; some lenders have upped their game and others haven’t. Santander, Clydesdale, RBS & Halifax are very good examples of delivering an improved service.
“In terms of what can be improved, it is back to basics. BDMs need to have better product knowledge, better access and influence with the underwriting process (there is still an over-reliance on asking brokers to run a decision in principle and see what result they get), and be easy to get hold of,” he added.
Andrew Montlake, director at Coreco, noted that service standards often varied according to the amount of power each BDM was awarded by their employer.
“We often find the ones who provide the best service are trusted by their lenders to actually get involved in cases, speak to underwriters or operations teams and have a positive effect. There are some good BDMs who just are not given the teeth to have a real effect on service levels.
“The vast majority of BDMs do a tough job and work hard to provide a good service at all times, although things can get strained once high volumes are introduced,” Montlake added.
“We have however, definitely noticed an increase in communication from lenders who were not as interested in intermediaries in the past as they are now and hope this will continue.”
Lea Karasavvas, managing director of Prolific Mortgage Finance said brokers should appreciate the high demand on BDMs, meaning that an immediate response is not always possible.
“What we have seen, is a growth in BDM support, and for me this is key.
“Lenders seem to be offering BDM support units more and this shows there is a commitment to keep service levels high, but more of the support units offered by the likes of Accord and Nationwide, will go a long way to keep brokers happy.”