Mortgage adviser industry has earned "a bit of a breather"

The year has been chaotic for a sector faced with constant uncertainty

Mortgage adviser industry has earned "a bit of a breather"

It’s safe to say that 2020 has not been an easy year, and as we head towards New Year’s Eve, many Kiwis will undoubtedly be joining Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in giving “a middle finger to 2020.”

For mortgage advisers, the year has been nothing short of chaotic – from the first lockdown and a tidal wave of anxious clients, to payment deferrals, long turnaround times and an increasingly unpredictable environment. As such, The Mortgage Supply Company director David Windler said the industry has thoroughly earned “a bit of a breather.”

“It’s been crazy!” Windler told NZ Adviser.

“In many ways it’s been the toughest year that I can think of, and that includes having gone through the GFC in 2008.

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“So many things have happened, and I think the toughest thing for advisers has been the constant change,” he said.

“Given that a big part of our job is knowing the market, understanding credit policy and knowing where to place a deal, it’s been a real challenge not being able to be as confident and upfront with clients about outcomes as you might have been before COVID.”

When it comes to working with banks, Windler says that BDMs have done their utmost to handle a new and difficult situation – however, there is certainly room for some closer collaboration between advisers and banks in the coming year.

“I hope the banks and lenders will look at their service delivery and think about how they can improve that, and I hope our aggregator groups can work collaboratively with them to achieve this,” he said.

“The banks have suffered a little with their service delivery throughout the course of the year, and we have a supply agreement with banks that should really have some parameters around it. “

“I think 2021 will be a ‘settling down’ kind of year,” he continued.

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“My biggest hope for next year is that advisers and banks can collaborate on their service delivery, because it’s been quite difficult to be stuck between a client and a lender for weeks on end and trying to get an outcome, when you know in your heart that they could walk into a branch and have it done in a matter of days.

“Turnaround times will be really key for the industry in the year ahead – policy and pricing is what it is. But we’ve also been fortunate in that we’ve been dealing with some great BDMs, and I just hope that the industry on both sides gets a bit of a breather.”