Jeremy Duncombe: Customer choice is the biggest threat to brokers

Duncombe emphasised the importance of maintain your client base.

Jeremy Duncombe: Customer choice is the biggest threat to brokers

Customer choice is the greatest threat to brokers according to Jeremy Duncombe, director of intermediary distribution at Accord Mortgages, has argued.

He warned that this is a bigger threat than execution-only and it is necessary for brokers to look after and retain their customers.

Duncombe said: “The biggest risk is the customer and what they feel is the right thing to do.

“If they feel it is better to go direct or execution-only, then they will do that.

“It is the customer’s choice and what they decide is the best thing for them. It may be execution-only or it may be another broker or robo-advice.

“By looking after the customer all the way through, that risk is mitigated almost entirely.

“If they feel that they have a good broker experience of someone looking over them continually over the fixed period, it does not matter what options they get, they will go back to the broker.”

Duncombe argued that the same arguments are relevant with technology because it is about the service brokers give.

Duncombe added: “It is about adding value and delivering on what you promised from day one.

“Theoretically, you could argue product transfers could become automated but there is no reason a broker should not do it because they’ve looked after the customer the whole way through.

“The advantage of that to the customer is they get the opportunity to talk about their current circumstances.

“A product transfer might be the right thing to do or they might end up with the same product, but at least they get the chance to check with the broker whether they are doing the right thing.”

Accord has a Growth Series which supports brokers with their businesses, nearly 4,500 brokers have signed up to it so far.

Duncombe added: “Education is massively important.

“Some of the threats coming from execution-only or robo-advice are threats brokers have to respond to which I think they absolutely can.

“But if you don’t change anything, you leave yourself in a difficult position and over time brokers will see their customers and lender share dwindle away.”