MICE: Lenders must reality check borrowers

Speaking on the lender panel at the MICE conference in London Phil Cliff, retail assets director at Santander, said lenders must be responsible for aligning borrowers’ expectations with what is affordable as high loan to value mortgages and the supply of properties are made more available by the Help to Buy schemes.

He said the government schemes are promoting high LTV mortgages and encouraging the supply of new build homes through the shared equity scheme putting customer expectations at an “all-time high”.

Moving into 2014 and 2015 as an election year Cliff said the industry may see more initiatives and more positive talk around the housing market consequently the dynamics between the lender and customer.

He said: “Having come through the crisis we have come through I do think customers are more engaged in a financial conversation with lenders than they were previously; they understand more and also their expectations are higher.

“I’m not sure their expectations are fully aligned with what greater regulation means in terms of affordability and supply and demand.”

Cliff sees the lender customer relationship becoming more sophisticated in the coming years whereby the customer is going to be taking on more accountability that they have done in the past in terms of what is affordable.

He added: “I agree that there will be a positive landscape but I do think there will be challenges ahead in terms of managing customer expectations which falls back to the lender to do two things which are potentially in conflict; generating demand and coping with increased regulation in light of these expectations.”