26 March 2024

Technology V The Human Touch – Getting the balance right?

By Derek Adams, Senior National Accounts Lead at Skipton

I think it is fair to say that at Skipton we have invested substantially in mortgage technology over the last few years, in our mission to make things easier for brokers in submitting applications to us.

Embracing technology is vital if we are to provide the level of service that brokers demand for both them and their clients, but we also recognise that we don’t want to lose the human touch that many of you value.

Complex Customers, Complex Criteria

As the needs and circumstances of borrowers become more complex due to changes in the economy in the last few years, the use of criteria search engines such as Ignite have become invaluable to brokers, saving them time in their search for the ideal lender for their client.

At Skipton, we recognise that our ‘version of the truth’ needs to be as accurate as possible, and we have put in place a colleague whose role it is to monitor and maintain these systems – highlighted by the high percentage of verified criteria we have displayed on Ignite. Added to that we have the ‘black box’ of our affordability calculator in the Ignite programme along with our current product offering, providing one view of the current Skipton proposition.

The Mortgage Application Journey

A significant part of our investment in technology has been in our award winning e-mortgage system and in particular the tech we use in the background in assessing mortgage applications that are submitted to us.

Here are a couple of those technology enhancements:

  • Auto Income Verification – this gives us as a lender confidence that the income on the case exists and therefore there are occasions where the broker does not need to submit any documents for the case.
  • Greater use of AVMs and Desktop Valuations for valuation of the property and therefore negating the need to carry out a physical inspection.
  • Day 1 Mortgage Offers – the above enhancements have allowed us to prove that we have the capability to offer a mortgage on the same day and over a thousand brokers experienced this in 2023.

This technology frees up our underwriters to look at the more complex cases that are submitted to us, thus providing a better experience for brokers submitting either a complex or non-complex application to us.

Going forward, we will look to continue our use of technology and explore how we can turn up the dial on the improvements detailed above. Just as important however, is to ensure that technology enhancements gives us time to do what we really want to do, which is providing a better experience for our customers.

For adviser use only. Please note this content has been supplied by our lender partner and as such, is their responsibility. No party shall have any right of action against Legal & General in relation to the accuracy or completeness of the information in this article.