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Amazon and Facebook biggest threat to brokers and lenders – Marketwatch

  • 17/01/2018
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Amazon and Facebook biggest threat to brokers and lenders – Marketwatch
Technology is set to change the way the mortgage market operates in the coming years which presents both opportunities and threats for brokers and lenders, depending on your viewpoint .

Richard Hayes, chief executive of digital broker Nuvo said the mortgage broker is on the cusp of a technology revolution.

Jeremy Duncombe warns that those who bury their head in the sand now, could find it is just too late when they try to catch up.

Maria Harris, director of intermediary lending at Atom Bank believes Amazon and Facebook could be the biggest threat.



Richard Hayes Nuvo

Richard Hayes, chief executive of digital broker Nuvo

This year brings many opportunities to the broker world.

Advancements in technology mean that brokers who embrace technology have an opportunity to significantly improve the service they offer, to successfully meet the needs of an already tech savvy audience.

The most recent development is the introduction of Open Banking.

For those of us in a position to take advantage of the opportunities that the new directives present, there is the chance to add a competitive edge to business.

Nuvo has already started to develop features to dramatically shorten the fact-finding process within the mortgage application journey, making the data we collect more accurate while also allowing us to meet our customers’ needs better.

Artificial intelligence is also an area of focus, mainly in the field of Natural Language Understanding and the creation of more autonomous tech to help speed up many internal processes.

Technology can make the mortgage buying process faster and more convenient – and customers expect things to happen fast.

But, the most important opportunity is how can we avoid charging our customers a fee; as tech advancements allow free service as an offering.

Effective and compliant robo-advice can’t be ignored if it saves our customers money.

Our sector will look very different two to three years from now.

We’re right on the cusp of a significant and overdue leap forward that will see the rapid evolution of the traditional intermediary.

Tech to keep a keen eye over the next two years: AI in the form of natural learning understanding, automation, machine learning, big data and of course blockchain  – yes, the thing behind cryptocurrency mania.


Jeremy Duncombe

Jeremy Duncombe, director at Legal & General Mortgage Club  

With 2018 now in full swing, brokers should use this year to get ahead of the game.

Disruptive technology is being used by firms to change the shape of our market and brokers need to prepare for this impact in 2019.

The main challenge remains technology and it will undoubtedly continue to change the relationship between broker and client.

However, some things will always remain the same, borrower demands are always changing and brokers need to make sure they are utilising the technology available to enhance their efficiency and service.

Whether it’s case management or digitising client and lender communications to speed up mortgage applications, brokers need to adopt technology to meet the ever-increasing expectations of borrowers.

For those who ignore the warnings and decide to end up burying their heads in the sand, by the time they try to catch up with the changes, it may just be too late.

This doesn’t mean, however, having to switch fully to robo-advice and sacrificing the human touch.

Our latest Value of a Broker research showed that almost half of respondents would opt for personal advice through a broker, over the alternative of using online platforms or robo-advice.

Borrowers don’t want to choose between robo-advice and face to face conversations, they want to be able to tailor the process so it works for them.

If brokers can strike the right balance between embracing technology and providing a personal service, this will enable them to maintain real relationships with their client and provide the holistic advice that technology will never be able to take the place of.


Maria HarrisMaria Harris, director of intermediary lending at Atom Bank

As in many areas of society technology has huge potential to change the mortgage industry for the better, and while this year could be a big step for the market, it is a much longer journey.

Banks will be focused on implementing and maximising the opportunities from General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and open banking; both of which could have seismic impacts on banks’ ability to provide simple, straight forward and increasingly automated customer journeys.

For brokers, this could mean that they need to review their own customer contact strategies and ensure they’re managing the relationship in a way that enables them to compete for existing customer business in a sustainable way.

We will start to see more and more technology collaboration between intermediaries and lenders, as they find ways to reduce the overlap, while improving archaic practices such as manual input and current document sharing processes.

New technology and open banking will make these API driven and there will be growing pressure to adopt this type of technology in the rest of the value chain in areas like conveyancing for example.

We are also likely to witness a wider spread take-up of digital technology in the broker world too, as providers come to market with licensed software that can be easily adopted.

The biggest threat to mortgage lenders and brokers, could come from the likes of Amazon, Facebook, Google or Apple if the take up of open banking technology builds enough customer trust for them to give their data to a platform provider or aggregator.

This is certainly a space to be watching closely.

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