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Sourcers’ service is slammed

Sourcing systems and lenders’ online applications are still not providing the service that intermediaries expect.

The panel of seven at last week’s Money Marketing round table agreed they do not have faith in the efficiencies of sourcing systems, particularly for the sub-prime sector.

Advantage Home Loans managing director Keith Dearling does not believe advances in sub-prime mortgage sourcing go far enough to service intermediaries.

He said Trigold’s enhanced non-conforming system takes into account underwriting criteria of each lender’s portfolio and provides a fact-find, data verification and KFIs but he said the system requires a huge amount of information from the client which has to be input in real time which is unrealistic for intermediaries and clients who may not have all the details in one meeting.

Mortgage 2000 managing director Sean Hornsby said intermediaries have lost sight of the original purpose of sourcing systems and said they should be used purely as aids. He warned that intermediaries must be aware of the legal responsibility they take on themselves by going through a third party to source mortgage information.

Sourcing systems were born out of best-buy tables and Hornsby said they should be used for reference only and not as tools for advice.

Bradford & Bingley head of product operations David Bitner said his lack of trust in sourcing systems has led him to recommend B&B advisers to go direct to the lenders only.

Purely Mortgages chief executive Mark Chilton echoed Bitner’s response to sourcing systems but also said he believed that lenders’ systems are still inefficient.

He said that research he has conducted has revealed that ineffective and disappointing technology systems are costing his firm between 15 and 20 per cent in product activity. For example a recent application through Nationwide took one of Chilton’s colleagues two hours to process.

Newcastle Mortgage Services sales director Tony Ibson said a solution could be the advent of the Pisces system, a cross-platform protocol to enable different systems to communicate. He said this would provide standard documentation and conventions across the whole mortgage process. But Chilton said the erosion of big lenders’ brands through the use of the system would be unappealing to the bigger players.

Alliance & Leicester head of intermediary mortgages Mehrdad Yousefi said: “There does not appear to be a common meeting of minds to have an expert, common trading platform. The residential mortgage market is arguably the biggest sector of the financial services industry but it is very poorly serviced. The sourcing systems themselves simply did not have the right financial capital to take on this financial undertaking.”

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