How vital are brokers to the Scottish mortgage industry?

MD highlights their contribution, ahead of The Scottish Mortgage Summit & Awards

How vital are brokers to the Scottish mortgage industry?

The lifeblood of the Scottish mortgage industry are experienced brokers – and nothing can replicate the service they provide, according to an industry expert.

James Rice, managing director at broker firm The Mortgage Finance Store, based in Dundee, is a speaker at the forthcoming Scottish Mortgage Summit & Awards. He is keen to pay tribute to Scotland’s intermediary community.

“Whilst future twenty somethings will no doubt arrange a mortgage by face recognition or thumb print, there is still a large proportion of the Scottish population who rely on the personal face-to-face contact and ability to interact and get direct answers to direct questions,” said Rice (pictured)

“In a world where so much information is available online, there is very little in the way of the intricacies of packaging a mortgage to ensure a successful smooth process.”

He continued:  “Whilst new advisers can have access to sourcing systems and can attend as many webinars as they can manage, there is no substitute for the relationships built up by an experienced, quality adviser and it’s these individuals that are the lifeblood of a vital Scottish mortgage industry.”

What are the current challenges in the Scottish property market?

Rice highlighted the current challenges facing Scotland’s property market including many so-called ‘mortgage prisoners’ unable to remortgage, capital raise and, when looking to sell, provide enough of a deposit for their onward purchases. He also referred to ‘rent prisoners’ who can’t afford to move, and landlords selling up, which has in turn increased the demand and cost of rental properties beyond what many could afford.

“At the same time lenders have restricted lending in the high risk, high loan to value market, fearful of a downturn, leaving many in a position whereby they can’t afford to rent, can’t afford to buy,” Rice said.

An eviction ban has further created a new culture of tenants who can afford to pay but choose not to do so, he claimed. 

Rice acknowledged the Herculean efforts of Scottish-based brokers to go the extra mile to support their clients.

“The thing that needs highlighting the most is the extraordinary effort mortgage advisers can go to service clients’ requirements through what can be an extremely stressful time,” he noted. “Whether it’s driving long distances to meet face to face, or making themselves available at all hours of the day or night, it is the efforts of these individuals that are the beating heart of the Scottish housing sector.”

READ MORE: West One extends residential range to all brokers in Scotland

When and where are The Scottish Mortgage Summit & Awards?

Sponsored by Mortgage Introducer and our sister brand, KM Business Information, The Scottish Mortgage Summit & Awards, will be held on Thursday May 30 at the prestigious Sheraton Grand Hotel in Edinburgh – it’s aim to showcase the best of Scotland’s mortgage industry.

A daytime summit will provide a chance to strengthen professional ties, with a schedule of fascinating discussions to debate the pressing issues facing the industry today – registration for the summit is free.

In addition to James Rice, the speakers will include Robert Sinclair, chief executive of the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries, Jonathan Evans, who is senior national accounts & new build lead at Skipton Building Society, and

Alistair Ewing, managing director of The Lending Channel.

Joining the line up are broker Helen MacKenzie, from MacKenzie Mortgages,  Kieran Mullen, key account manager at Canada Life UK, plus Hannah Walker, national sales manager at LV=GI for Intermediaries, and Jeff Knight, director of Grey Matter Marketing Solutions.

They will discuss the vibrancy of the Scottish mortgage industry, navigating the later life landscape, strategies for future success, and how to get ahead with marketing.

The glittering evening awards will see industry colleagues come together to celebrate those for whom exceptional dedication and service are integral to their day-to-day roles.

Shortlisted contenders will be hoping for success in more than 20 award categories, including coveted titles such as Best Overall Broker in Scotland, Broker of the Year (Regional), BDM of the Year, Protection Provider of the Year, Later Life Lender of the Year and New Brokerage of the Year – plus the winner of the renowned Lifetime Achievement Award will be announced.

Rice, who has been a mortgage adviser for more than 25 years, is clearly looking forward to the event. “It’s always nice to circulate with fellow professionals,” he shared. “It’s amazing what you learn at the bar!”

To find out more about the Scottish Mortgage Summit & Awards go to: Mortgage Introducer | Scottish Mortgage Summit