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Do you expect to see less or more second charge mortgage lenders in 2018?

Are video applications next for the second charge mortgage market?

Video applications

Second charge mortgage professionals are relatively split over whether video applications could make their way into the market.

In a recent poll conducted by Loan Talk, 55% voted that video applications would be next for second charge mortgages, while 45% said no.

LT video applications poll

The question was asked after Santander revealed that it was planning to launch a mortgage video service in 63 branches across the UK.

The service would enable customers to apply for a mortgage via a video link at a Santander branch which connects them to a UK-based mortgage adviser.

Could video applications enter the seconds market?

Matt Andrews, managing director of mortgages at Masthaven, felt that any technology that improved the customer journey should be embraced. 

“I can see video applications benefiting customers who want a more personal, face-to-face approach when time or geography doesn’t allow a direct meeting. 

“I can also see the advantage for customers who like knowing who they’re dealing with, but would prefer not to have someone visit them in their home.

“As people increasingly feel comfortable using video link solutions to talk to friends and family on their mobiles, I think it’s highly likely to become an option for business dealings going forward.” 

Rob Derry, managing director of Brunel Mortgages and Loans, didn’t see why video applications couldn’t make their way into the seconds market in the near future.

“Currently, the security calls that most lenders do pre-completion and/or pre-offer are done over the phone. 

“Most of them are problem free, but you do hear the odd story about people trying to fake calls so that would eradicate that.”

Daniel Yeo, managing director of Cardiff Money, said it was already speaking to clients via Skype and FaceTime. 

“This proves useful for clients who are unable to meet or just want to put a face to the name if it’s a phone-based application. 

“Of course, you can’t beat a client visit face to face. 

“I think no amount of technology will ever replace that, but improved communication channels are always welcome. 

“There’s always room for innovation and improved technology that assists best client outcome.”

Paul Day, sales and development director at Clever Lending, felt that one area where video applications could help is with regards to body language and the reading of a customer, but questioned its benefits.

“We all know that online communication or particularly emails, can be easily misconstrued and this could help negate that. 

“Further to this, video applications could help reduce the threat of fraud, but it wouldn’t necessarily help speed up the process any further. 

“If pre-recorded, then this doesn’t help and any real-time conversation can be an opted video call as it is anyway.”

Does the second charge industry embrace technology? 

Matt felt that the seconds industry was more advanced than the first charge industry when it came to technology. 

“For example, API integration between lenders and brokers, credit bureau population of affordability calculators and auto-valuation models removing cost and time from the process. 

“Continually evolving technology will deliver improved user experiences and better customer journeys – on desktop, mobile and tablet; and has the potential {to] save time in the process, which is always important.”

Rob also felt that the seconds industry embraced technology and said its own sourcing system was a good example.

“It does a soft credit search which practically guarantees the right product every time. 

“We have pre-populated forms and electronic submission to most lenders also. 

“More wouldn’t hurt, but sometimes you simply can’t beat a human when it comes to a complex case.”

Daniel felt that the seconds industry had great pioneers when it came to technology, but the problem was that it struggled to work together as a cohesive unit.

“The lenders have invested heavily in their systems and it has sped up the client journey, technology for brokers is limited and some of it clunky, so I think we need to invest as an industry in a common non-bias interface that allows brokers to source and compare as they see fit and then submit to the packager that will best suit their client in their eyes. 

“Let’s face it, most sourcing systems for firsts and seconds are self-serving marketing devices. 

“This needs to change so it’s about the client first and foremost, then the broker chooses the packager, then the packager does what they should: package.”

Daniel said Cardiff Money had championed creating a forward-thinking body, and put forward suggestions such as second charge mortgage awareness week, or Twitter campaigns, video's/tutorials to promote the industry, but it continued to fall on deaf ears.

“We will continue to bang the drum; however, our drum is fading out and it needs the help of a backing band to bring the industry back to life.”

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