CML: MMR settling down

Speaking on the CML website, he said that technology has worked and the review’s implementation has been largely successful.

Noakes said: “The feedback we’re receiving from direct advisers at Lloyds Banking Group is that the new approach feels more intuitive and, separately, brokers are reporting that the systems are working well.

“This positive early feedback is a good yardstick, and is a clear contributor to the initial success of the MMR and the fact that there has been very little significant negative coverage of the changes in the media.”

Applicants are speaking to advisers for around 20 minutes longer than pre-MMR according to Noakes, yet this is hardly a big leap from where it stood pre-MMR, when applications took an hour and 45 minutes.

He added: “There have been some examples of longer waiting times for people who want to see an adviser.

“Once again, however, this is returning to normal, with the vast majority getting an appointment at their convenience within a couple of days.”

And Ian McGrail, director of First Mortgage, has seen this trend in action. “MMR was a little bit painful when it first came about, but Halifax are back on the ball and it’s okay now,” he said.

“Things have improved in the last month, and we’re back to where we were in February-March time, Santander aside.”

But Matthew Fleming-Duffy, mortgage and finance broker at Cherry Mortgage and Finance, has seen application times continue to drag on. “Certainly residential mortgages things are taking a long time, while we’re also seeing a lot of questioning when it comes to Buy-to-let,” he said.

“Buy-to-let is not taking as long as residential but the admin times are still very high.”

According to Fleming-Duffy there has been considerable back and forth from underwriters, which he attributed to a lack of staff.

He added: “It seems like this: the underwriter has a 10 page application form, he gets to page 2 and has a query, he puts that case down until it’s answered in three days and then he goes through the rest of it.

“I suppose if you’ve got 100 cases on your desk at one time how do you deal with that?

“The obvious solution is to recruit more staff and retrain more people, but if banks did that they’d have to put their fees up so the consumer would pay more.”