In recent months the lender service levels for broker introduced customers have become untenable and more importantly unsustainable for our sector. One of the core service propositions for the broking industry has been ensuring that customers receive a high level of service throughout the application process and this is now under serious threat.
To date, these issues have been addressed in isolation between individual aggregators and lenders but the reality is that it needs to be addressed on a wider basis. We are currently in a situation of a cycle of repeated service failures as policy is adjusted or brokers move their customers away from the trouble spots only to create new issues.
The industry has gone through a major structural change with fewer lenders in the market and we need to look beyond reacting to the latest issue and look at examining new ways to operate to ensure high service levels are returned.
To this end we believe that the MFAA should facilitate a Summit of the Top Ten Aggregators & Lenders (by volume) to discuss the key issues concerning the sector.
Although the Summit is in some ways a meeting of competitors, it’s our respective end-customer that is impacted and that leads to issues, complaints and ultimately customer retention issues.
Our proposal is that we brin together the key representatives from both lenders and aggregators to meet and discuss sustainable solutions for operating in the environment. The key topics should include but are not restricted to:
- Effective communication of current service levels – publication of service levels, options for centralised access to service levels for brokers, standardising escalation mechanisms & use of the aggregator management structures.
- Lead times in major policy changes – timings for implementation
- Valuation issues
- Efficient processing of pre-approvals – the use/misuse of pre-approvals, levels of assessment and use of technology
- Options for broker support in the processing pipeline – ordering of CRAA’s & valuations, printing and delivery of loan documentation
- Compliant management – settling issues quickly before they reach the Ombudsman, managing channel conflict
The Summit also provides an opportunity for this group to look at the implementation of the forthcoming national legislation which we will all be operating under.
It is our belief, if we continue to address issues in isolation and reactively, then we simply move the volume bubble on to another series of lenders which creates further service issues.
The current situation of missed purchase deadline, repeated finance extensions and applicants waiting up to 20 days before their application is assessed is to the detriment of all parties involved in the process, particularly the borrower.
Phil, we believe the MFAA needs to bring the key lenders and aggregators together, as a matter of priority, to facilitate this discussion and Loan Market Group are happy to assist by providing a venue or other resources as required.
I look forward to discussing this with you directly.
The above is a direct transcript of a communication sent to Phil Naylor (MFAA) by John Kolenda at Loan Market Group.