Brokers criticise lenders’ outsourcing systems

A number of brokers admitted they prefer not to use lenders who outsource a lot of business, stating it slows and adds another stage to the mortgage process. Outsourcing plants were also criticised for not training their staff on the ins and outs of mortgage cases.

An industry source, said: “Outsourcing processing plants have a ‘tick box’ mentality, and the people there often know very little, if anything, about mortgages. If there is one bit of information on the application that they have to query, or one bit of information the broker has not submitted, the chain has to be started again, which is very frustrating and adds time to the case. By using these processing systems the lenders can make substantial cost savings, but the loss of image and goodwill cannot be measured. I try not to use lenders that operate outsourced processing plants, and I think it should all be kept in house.”

Dave Edwards, managing director of Vertex mortgage services, said outsourcing played a valuable role for lenders, with many using it for repeat business. He said: “Out of our client base only one outsources new business. Lenders use outsourcing when they realise there is no real advantage to be gained from doing it themselves.”

Andrew Forsey, director at Andrew Forsey Financial Services, dismissed suggestions that outsourcing played a part when choosing a lender. He said: “GMAC-RFC outsources a lot of its stuff, but is very good. I wouldn’t say it comes into the equation when choosing a lender and there are other more important factors to consider.”