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42% of intermediaries rate lender portals as average to very poor


More than two-fifths (42%) of intermediaries ranked lender portal usability as average to very poor, according to the IRESS Intermediary Mortgage Survey 2017.

However, this current total represented an improvement on the 53% recorded for portal usability in 2016.

In IRESS’s third annual survey, figures showed that 83% of brokers call lenders between three and six times per application, despite 85% of lenders providing real-time case tracking.

Lenders reported improvements in a number of areas, for example, 89% of lenders offering scan and attach at point of sale, up from 75% last year.

It was also reported that 59% of lenders provide an online single status view of all cases, up from 44% in 2016.

Henry Woodcock, principal mortgage consultant at IRESS, said: “It is heartening that for the third year in a row we have seen improvements in the functionality lenders offer to mortgage intermediaries.

“However, while many lenders’ portals received praise for their ease of use, a number were criticised, highlighting the inconsistency in the level of services provided across the industry.

“Many intermediaries are asking for clearer, easier and faster application processes and complain [that] some of the data requested by lenders is unnecessary, complicated and irrelevant.

“We expect to see further investment from lenders in response to intermediary requirements over the coming months.”

The survey also covered robo-advice and observed that although three-fifths of lenders (60%) see robo-advice as an opportunity, only 16% of intermediaries think the same.

Just under a third (31%) of intermediaries saw robo-advice as a threat.

The IRESS Intermediary Mortgage Survey analysed the systems and processes of 27 lenders and canvassed the opinions of 592 of their intermediary partners.

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