IMLA to survey members in bid to tackle market capacity challenges

The Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA) has announced it will be surveying its members over the coming weeks to identify the specific challenges facing lenders that are putting a strain on service levels.

The Association said it hopes to work with industry stakeholders to identify “possible solutions” to current bottlenecks and delays in mortgage applications.
IMLA stated that high levels of activity are a positive sign that the mortgage market remains resilient, despite the market experiencing “unprecedented” levels of demand since reopening after the COVID-19 lockdown earlier this year.
While lenders are trying to manage record volumes of business, the Association suggested they have also emphasised their commitment to acting prudently and responsibly.

“The focus of lenders remains, as it should, on acting prudently and lending responsibly within their regulatory commitments, and ultimately, to protect borrowers,“ IMLA executive director, Kate Davies, commented.

“However, the current situation is clearly continuing to impact service levels and we need to identify the main reasons for this, and try to find ways of alleviating the logjams. We also need to be clear about what is realistically achievable and try to manage borrowers’ and intermediaries’ expectations in terms of what lenders can deliver.

“The COVID-19 crisis has emphasised the need for borrowers to be given good advice about their mortgage options, and I believe that most borrowers will understand and appreciate that good advice and responsible lending may take a little longer in these exceptional times.

“We now know that we all face further restrictions on our lives – probably for another six months. But we also know, from the way the industry has coped so far, that we are up to the challenge.”

IMLA stated that it hopes to “draw together” perspectives by surveying its members to identify solutions, and one of the industry stakeholders it intends to work with is the Association for Mortgage Intermediaries (AMI).

AMI chief executive, Robert Sinclair, said: “We have an incredibly busy mortgage market at the moment. While the strong levels of activity we are seeing is certainly a positive sign of the sector’s resilience, it is continuing to present difficulties for lenders as they battle demand.
“Whether we are advisers or lenders, we are all in this market together and it is vital that we work in partnership to find ways of overcoming these difficulties. This is a welcome step from IMLA towards highlighting and resolving factors that are impacting service levels for customers and we are eager to work jointly with its members as they evaluate their findings and identify solutions to the current challenges we are all facing.”

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