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Brokers, who are divided about online remortgage ‘threat’ ,older not tech savvy left behind

Mortgage brokers are divided on whether Lloyds Bank’s launch of a fully online remortgage service is a threat to the sector.
Mortgage advice by video: Save yourself a trip to your branch and speak to a mortgage adviser at home Lloyds Bank and Halifax have launched an online video service to connect new and existing customers to mortgage advisers from the comfort of their own homes - just as Lloyds gears up to close 39 branches in April. 

The video link service can be accessed on a laptop, desktop, or tablet computer once the customer has booked an appointment through telephone banking.


They then receive an email link to the video appointment ahead of the booked time slot - with virtual meetings available between 8am and 8pm during the week at both banks, and between 9am and 2pm on Saturdays at Lloyds and 9am and 4pm at Halifax. 


Consumers can use the service to see if they can get a cheaper deal with Lloyds and then get an agreement in principle in minutes.

If approved the bank indicates the amount of money it can lend and the full mortgage application can be completed online on an execution-only basis in around half an hour.
Andrew Montlake, director at Coreco in Central London, said: “It’s undoubtedly a threat to intermediaries but it’s about us as an industry making sure we promote the benefits of getting professional advice.

“It’s all very well being able to do it online but you are only getting the benefit of one particular lender’s products which doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right product for that person.

“It’s always better to go with brokers who can access 90 different lenders rather than one.


For Your Next Step Advert - Lloyds Bank 

“There will always be borrowers who don’t want to interact with brokers and would rather do it themselves and as long as it’s completely simple and easy there is a place for it.”

Richard Hanlon, principal at Mortgage Planners in Dundee, reckoned this online remortgage service will split generations.

He said: “It has to be seen as a threat but I don’t see it as an immediate threat that will rock the marketplace.

“Only the youngest technical savvy people will do it because in my experience people like advice and don’t want to make the choice themselves – people like someone to blame!”



Source ONS

Click to enlarge .Britain's ageing population is on the increase. UX UI designers will need to think ahead , as tech becomes, the even more norm, in our everyday lives , older generations , who are not tech savvy, will need better ease of access, these new fintech platforms.   



Lloyds Bank High street branch closures 2016





But Jonathan Burridge, who is an independent mortgage broker based in East London, said: “It’s not a threat. It will make things easier for a percentage of the population who don’t believe they need advice.

“Some people will have their creditworthiness affected because they will apply shotgun style to different lenders, get declined and then see a mortgage broker afterwards.
“The majority of the population value advice and in the UK it’s still available independently at a reasonable price.”

Meanwhile Arthur MacIntyre, principal of Money Planning in Cambridge, remarked that Lloyds’ move won’t rock the boat because it’s rates “aren’t very competitive” but wondered whether online execution-only could be a more of a threat in future.

Lloyds’ system allows applicants to upload documents electronically and self-select by mortgage type, such as a variable or fixed term. It also offers a web chat service to talk borrowers through the process.

With talk of other lenders following Lloyds, Montlake said advisers need to invest in technology to match their lender counterparts.

He added: “All lenders will be looking at their technology capabilities and it’s only a matter of time before all of them have offerings like this.

“All the main lenders will because it’s the way the world is going and that’s why brokers need to look at their own technology offerings.

“They can make it easier for the client to do business; to get information to them and to provide their details.
“Technology has a role to play but for me it’s important that people follow the high tech and high touch model – technology needs to work with the personal touch.”


Lloyds Banking Group has already invested £750 million in digital innovation since 2013 and says it will continue to invest a further £1 billion in its digital capability over the next three years.



SANTANDER TO LAUNCH 'VOICE BANKING' 

Santander will become the first UK bank to launch voice banking. Customers using the iOS version of its SmartBank app will be able to ask simple questions about their card spend such as 'where did I spend the most money this month?'
The technology will be rolled out in two phases. The first is an introductory phase, rolled out from 22 March, 'aimed at helping customers get to grips with the basic features, by providing the ability to ask about their card spend', explains the bank. 
The second phase, which will be out this year, will enable customers to 'fully service their accounts'. The bank says this includes 'advanced features such as the ability to make payments, report lost cards, set up account alerts and answer a broad range of questions about spend'.
Transactions will appear in real time, with retailers highlighted by name. Spend can be calculated by day, month or year and customers with a 123 credit card can also ask about the cashback they have earned. 
'This makes it clearer for customers to identify and understand their spending. So, if they wish to know the total amount spent at a certain supermarket or store this year, the tool adds it up for them, saving them time having to trawl through transactions. All of this combined gives people a better handle on their finances.
'It can also be a useful tool for vulnerable customers who prefer to bank from home and find speaking easier than typing or using online banking,' said the bank.



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