Bob Hunt, CEO of Paradigm Mortgage Services, has actively championed the DA community since the launch of Paradigm in 2007. Both publically, and behind the scenes, Bob works hard to use his experience and influence to ensure appropriate recognition and fair treatment for intermediaries in a range of areas, from Proc fees and quality metrics to product access and dual pricing. Paradigm has proved that despite tough market conditions it is possible to not only compete against other larger scale more established Distributors, but in creating a new model of distributor – a partnership model – to reward firms for the consistency, quality and loyalty of their business support.
Bob’s latest article is available below, and there is an extensive Blog Archive including all past articles.
12 Dec 2019
The importance of advice
As we approach a new year, my feeling is that there is a lot to be positive about, certainly from a mortgage intermediary perspective.
Putting aside the political situation, and looking purely at our market, it’s plain that with three-quarters of all mortgages currently being intermediated, we are in a strong position.
Yet, part of me also believes that the other quarter of transactions which do not go through the intermediary channel are not necessarily out of reach for advisers, even if there may be a belief that our market share has plateaued.
However, notwithstanding my optimism the fact of the matter is that a significant number of potential and existing borrowers still walk into their bank branch, or phone them up, or merely take the mortgage proffered to them, and don’t visit a mortgage adviser at all.
There are further threats to disintermediation, notably the rise – with technology at its centre, of price comparison websites (PCW).
With some direct to consumer lenders doing deals with these PCW’s my belief is that the price-led approach they are taking could be dangerous, not just to consumers but clearly their advisers too.
There are however a number of ways we can combat this.
First is an education message to the consumer market about why it might be a good idea to visit an adviser, and in that regard, we might have an unlikely champion.
I recently listened to Radio 5 Live and the ubiquitous Martin Lewis was on providing ‘advice’ to listeners about their mortgage situation.
Now, Lewis himself tends to draw the ire of advisers because well, quite frankly, he’s not an adviser and some might see him as treading on the toes of advisers.
However, what was interesting was the steps Lewis took the callers through and, with every single one, he tended to book-end his thoughts with a request that they go and see a mortgage adviser.
Of course, he was well-informed about the market and talked about the recent rate cuts for lower LTV borrowers, but he also acknowledges that this is a rather complex market, that the deal often offered to existing borrowers by their lenders may not be the most suitable for them, and that the best course of action – regardless of how much research you’d done online or how you viewed the best buys available – was to speak to an adviser who would be able to get the job done and ensure that all available solutions were reviewed.
For a journalist who has not been viewed often as the ‘adviser’s friend’, I think there is little more we could ask him to say about using intermediary services.
And let’s not underestimate his reach in the media, or the fact that many, many people trust him and are willing to follow his ‘advice’.
But, that’s really not enough to make the breakthrough with the 25% who don’t use advisers, and let’s face it, the regulatory picture and playing field is being shifted in order to make it easier for lenders to conduct execution-only business.
As mentioned above, that 25% might get bigger in the medium-term, given the focus on technology allowing borrowers to sort their mortgage out online, even if it’s not the most suitable product for them.
A point that has been raised lots of time recently.
In that sense, brokers need to do much more to engage with their clients’ post-mortgage completion – not just six months prior to the maturity of a 5-year fix, for example.
The recent survey undertaken by Canada Life spelt out exactly how poor advisers are at staying in touch, and crucially just how many intermediary clients have no intention of returning to their original adviser.
That should act as a call to action for all advisers.
The fact of the matter is that we, as an industry, need to be going all out in terms of the ‘benefits of mortgage advice’ message, but we also need to be demonstrating that we are improving our skills, our knowledge, our use of smart tech (e.g. Dashly) to out-game others, and our understanding of the market, etc.
That we are educating ourselves in a continuous manner, that we are becoming qualified in other related fields, that we have all the skills necessary to ensure we can give quality advice to every single client.
It’s for this very reason that I have recently joined the cross-sector board of the newly relaunched Society of Mortgage Professionals, because this is exactly the kind of focus the new SMP will have.
I think there’s a deep-seated acknowledgement from large numbers of mortgage advice stakeholders that we cannot simply stand still when it comes to our expertise.
Is it enough just to hold a CeMAP qualification that you secured 15 years ago, especially if you want to be involved in all manner of growing products and sectors? Undoubtedly not.
There has to be a commitment to improving our standing in the eyes of the public, and that can certainly come from a better qualified, educated, and knowledgeable adviser community.
And then we have to sell those improved standards to consumers, in order that they might take the advice of one Martin Lewis and feel completely comfortable in taking their business to an adviser.
This requires work but the advantages for both firms and their clients are there to be seen – I’m greatly encouraged that the SMP will be leading the way in this regard, and would therefore urge any adviser who isn’t a member to see what is available and the benefits it might bring to your business in the months and years ahead.
The importance of advice
12 Dec 2019
Keep in touch with clients or lose them for good
06 Dec 2019
Helping mortgage prisoners
04 Nov 2019
Combatting mortgage fraud
20 Sep 2019
Upping demand for green mortgages
17 Jul 2019
If we don’t talk up the market, then who will?
02 May 2019
Opinion: The mortgage revolution is unfolding
10 Dec 2018
We should be confident despite the uncertainties
14 Nov 2018
Not following EU rules could benefit the market
16 Oct 2018
Long-term fixes fail to catch on
01 Oct 2018
Understanding product transfers
30 Jul 2018
‘Go compare’ is not so ‘simples’
26 Jul 2018
It’s worth looking into later life lending
05 Jun 2018
SVRs are a cash cow for many mortgage lenders
04 Jun 2018
Leaving a network should be more straightforward
08 May 2018
Advisers must beware leasehold ‘minefield’
16 Apr 2018
It’s just not cricket
12 Apr 2018
Proc fee timescales are way off
29 Mar 2018
Opening at weekends shouldn’t be a priority
13 Mar 2018
Buy-to-let advice is needed more than ever
08 Feb 2018
Open Banking is a revolution without the fanfare
16 Jan 2018
A is for Affordability
15 Nov 2017
Thinking of going DA
27 Oct 2017
Mortgage advisers are great so sell your skills
04 Sep 2017
Technology must ease broker buy-to-let burden
30 Aug 2017
Looking ahead at portfolio buy-to-let changes
02 Aug 2017
Borrowers need choice on free legals
16 Jun 2017
Work smarter, not harder
08 Jun 2017
Politicians not facing up to ageing population
26 May 2017
A nation of FTBs in need of flexibility
04 Apr 2017
Buy-to-let uncertainty is not over yet
27 Mar 2017
Whose customer is it anyway?
13 Feb 2017
Embrace technology and be indispensible
20 Dec 2016
Preparing clients for rising inflation
21 Nov 2016
Reflecting on President Trump
11 Nov 2016
Time for something big?
14 Oct 2016
11 Oct 2016
Take a look beyond these shores
26 Sep 2016
We are letting down existing borrowers
06 Sep 2016
There’s no shame in getting help
18 Jul 2016
The intermediary is king
11 Jul 2016
Interest in equity release hotting up
29 Jun 2016
Carney’s Brexit warnings should not be silenced
03 Jun 2016
FCA will intervene with later life market
26 Apr 2016
Thank God, King’s reign is over
09 Mar 2016
‘Level the playing field’ strategy flawed
09 Feb 2016
Paradigm unveils MCD events
09 Feb 2016
Change is constant
08 Oct 2015
Landlords cash in on PRS
22 Sep 2015
MCD – no grace but plenty of favours
16 Sep 2015
Remortgagers play at ‘chicken or egg’
29 Jul 2015
BTL has closed the housing gap
20 Jul 2015
Analysis: Writing a will can avoid a death blow
15 Jul 2015
Waiving Stamp Duty won't encourage downsizing
08 Jun 2015
Damned if they do, damned if they don’t
01 Jun 2015
In the Spotlight with Bob Hunt
26 May 2015
Election result provides stability
20 May 2015
‘Grey borrower’ power is set to grow
13 May 2015
MMR 12 months on
13 Apr 2015
Mind the protection gap
09 Apr 2015
Analysis: Change status with the right support
08 Apr 2015
Housing will be election battleground
16 Mar 2015
Securing the specialist string to your bow
04 Mar 2015
Interest rate direction is anyone’s guess
04 Mar 2015
Regulatory B2L change is inevitable
12 Feb 2015
Analysis: Do your homework with relationships
04 Feb 2015
Lenders rising to the self-employed challenge
04 Feb 2015
The sectors to watch in 2015
06 Jan 2015
A helping hand
05 Jan 2015
Can a landlord be truly ‘accidental’?
17 Dec 2014
Coming in from the cold
05 Dec 2014
Analysis: Why distribution demands inclusion
12 Nov 2014
Analysis: Broker community boosted by HSBC
15 Oct 2014
Just when I thought I was out
08 Sep 2014
Analysis: Owning a home is not out of reach
03 Sep 2014
Analysis: Get set for more BoE intervention
20 Aug 2014
Welcome to the Twilight Zone
11 Aug 2014
MMR is enough to slow the bubble
09 Jul 2014
Help to Buy remains in the spotlight
08 Jul 2014
It’s good to talk
20 Jun 2014
H2B a rare housing policy success
18 Jun 2014
The better option to going direct
14 May 2014
FCA concerned by packaging renaissance
12 May 2014
Watch out for European regulation by year-end
06 May 2014
Cross-sales not just for times of crisis
16 Apr 2014
Brokers in the dock
26 Mar 2014
Paradigm launches protection arm
21 Mar 2014
‘MMR Day’ may be a damp squib
12 Mar 2014
Make sure your papers are in order
12 Mar 2014
Countdown to MMR
12 Feb 2014
A big year ahead for lenders
04 Feb 2014
BoE is unlikely to be trigger-happy
15 Jan 2014
We’re not in 2008 anymore
09 Jan 2014
FCA cannot ignore views of smaller firms
13 Dec 2013
The Prediction Game
06 Dec 2013
Stay ahead of the regulator with CPD
27 Nov 2013
Living up to expectations
15 Nov 2013
MMR compliance underpins success
30 Oct 2013
Bank of England must follow words with actions
02 Oct 2013
Lean times leave a leaner, keener core
04 Sep 2013
If you don't ask lenders, you don't get
22 Aug 2013
Steady as she goes is the right approach
20 Aug 2013
Are we about to see a broker boom?
16 Jul 2013
Now is not the time for procrastination
10 Jul 2013
Improving standards is no grounds for complaint
03 Jul 2013
Is product innovation being tied in knots?
24 Jun 2013
We can’t rely on external stimulus
06 Jun 2013
Put your services in the shop window
06 Jun 2013
30 May 2013
Does the FCA understand human frailty?
07 May 2013
Has the mortgage market regained its mojo?
17 Apr 2013
Help to Buy plus prudence equals prosperity
05 Apr 2013
Size matters on capital adequacy
04 Mar 2013
HS2? I’d rather see more houses built instead
06 Feb 2013
95% LTV mortgages are not back... yet
22 Jan 2013
Regulators have listened to feedback
21 Jan 2013
The Great House Price Debate
07 Jan 2013
Keeping your clients' wills up to date
02 Jan 2013
Funding for Lending is hotting up
01 Nov 2012
First-time buyers facing uphill struggle
06 Sep 2012
Rate competition offers opportunity for advice
26 Jul 2012
Interest-only compliance is critical
16 Jul 2012
Know your broker must not compromise diversity
29 Jun 2012
Pile 'em high is no longer an option
18 May 2012
The evolution of the adviser
02 Apr 2012
The importance of clarity
28 Mar 2012
Mortgage industry needs new blood
07 Feb 2012
What is January good for?
04 Jan 2012
Riding to Euro Armageddon
02 Dec 2011
A closer look at the CML's MICE
08 Nov 2011
Navigating the social media maelstrom
05 Oct 2011
MMR delay welcome
07 Jul 2011
Surety of mortgage is often worth paying for
28 Apr 2011
Industry must step up for first-time buyers
06 Apr 2011
Springtime for mortgages
11 Mar 2011
United industry front vital to shape MMR
04 Mar 2011
Cross selling should be core strategy
21 Feb 2011
2011 the year of remortgage
17 Jan 2011
Don’t put all your eggs in the mortgage basket
23 Dec 2010
MMR delays don’t mean no change
10 Dec 2010
Imagine all those people
17 Nov 2010
Remember, remember it's always November
28 Oct 2010
Remortgage market not dead
06 Oct 2010
Urgent necessity prompts many to do things
15 Sep 2010
Metro Bank will be one of the first MMR lenders
02 Aug 2010
15 Jul 2010
Don't let opportunities go to waste
25 Jun 2010