28 March 2024

Momentum for developing mortgage technology continues in the sector

By Principality Building Society

The development of technology to improve the mortgage application journey for both brokers and their clients continues to evolve but there are challenges for different providers:

  • technology releases that have a real impact on the day to day customer experience is core for most;
  • technology that doesn’t reinforce the “computer says no” perception of some providers;
  • technology that can integrate with legacy systems and broker systems is key for some; and
  • fundamentally, that technology that can have cost benefits.

Driven in part by regulation and the need for greater speed, new technology related to application systems, valuations, affordability calculations, criteria searches, income verifications, websites and more are all contributing to a more efficient application system for many providers and should make the experience better for most customers.

The Principality experience so far..

This is the experience of Principality. Established in 1860, it’s one of the oldest building societies in the UK.

Over the last 6 years, Principality has made a significant investment in their online savings and mortgage application platforms for both retail and intermediaries.

With over 160 years’ experience as a mutual society, it has more layers of historic tech than the average building society but the momentum for improvements to their online tech and the customer experience has continued to increase.

Customer service at the core

Key to introducing new tech successfully has been maintaining a high level of customer service.

The sixth largest building society in the UK, Principality has a strong reputation for customer service in the broker world. Principality has taken an incremental approach to introducing new products to its online Mortgage Sales Originations (MSO) platform. Not only to make sure that everything works as it should for registered brokers but also so that new tech releases can work with their legacy tech solutions.

At the same time, through the Building Society’s  operational excellence programme and as a response to broker feedback, it has speeded up it’s mortgage application journey. Better access to decision makers has been a key element of that.

Feedback from recent consultation with over 400 brokers* indicates that the approach is working. Speed of service, as well as lending criteria and limits and competitive pricing, are seen as Principality’s main selling points.

This is also reflected in the feedback from brokers following interactions with Principality’s intermediary team. In 2023, it’s broker Net Promoter Score (NPS) achieved c83, a significant 20-point improvement from 2022's score of 63 and the Building Society won What Mortgage Best Building Society for Customer Service for the sixth year running. 

It is clear that for Principality, customer satisfaction remains front and centre.

Online platform evolution

In 2023, online product transfers and online porting were introduced to it’s online mortgage platform, MSO.

The new product transfer service means that brokers can complete the mortgage transfer more easily, with less paperwork and no wet signatures. And it’s faster, which means their clients can confirm their next mortgage plans quicker. Online porting means that brokers can now submit porting applications without having to refer their clients to Principality.

There have been some work arounds but Principality’s commitment to direct communication with its brokers has meant that solutions to challenges are resolved quickly.

In 2024, a shared ownership range has been introduced to it’s online mortgage application. And more tech releases are in the pipeline for 2024.

www.principality.co.uk/Intermediaries has also been given a home page and content refresh. Access to mortgage criteria has also significantly improved via a new online search facility and the contact page has had a reboot with Regional Business Development Managers easy to find via a quick postcode search.

The website changes will be a test bed for a new website being launched in Summer 2024.  The new website is being designed to respond to current user data, feedback on challenges for brokers when using the current website and will focus on things that matter most to brokers.

A recording breaking year

Technology developments, the focus on service and changes to criteria based on direct broker feedback have resulted in a record breaking in 2023 with over £1billion growth in Principality’s mortgage book.

“2023 has been a challenging year from a sector perspective but it’s also given us the opportunity to respond to broker feedback and develop our systems and criteria. We’re delighted to see that these changes have improved our brokers’ experience with us and impacted our application numbers.

We’re looking forward to seeing the service and our technology continue to evolve in 2024 as we introduce our Broker Value Proposition which is all about making more possible for brokers and their clients.” said Helen Lewis, National Intermediary Manager.

To find out more about Principality’s latest updates visit https://www.principality.co.uk/Intermediaries or get in touch with a local Business Development Manager.

*IFF Research (October 2023)

Contact: Peter Caldicott - Key Account Manager Principality Building Society

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