I sent out a post today on social media that has got quite a response from all over the mortgage industry.
This is the whole point of posting on social media of course, but I comment from the heart rather than as a cynical way of trying to stir up debate. I thought it would be interesting to elaborate further.
First off, the message:
Dear brokers – I love you all but please don’t shout at people from HSBC if you can’t get your apps in – it’s really tricky until they are joined by others in this market & they have supported us very well during all this. A few lenders can’t cope with all this alone so be nice.
I get the frustration, I really do. I am a broker.
I remember the midnight masses where brokers would all be primed and ready by their laptops, in their pyjamas with a cup of hot cocoa, ok probably a whiskey, waiting for Barclays to release more funds.
It is not perfect, but Barclays also had a damn good reason for doing this at the time and I weirdly enjoyed those evenings, swapping messages on twitter and feeling close to all my broking brothers and sisters.
The question posed is: would we rather have this situation or just no 90 per cent loan to value (LTV) products at all?
I would rather have the opportunity to help rather than none, however frustrating. If we explain the full situation to clients from the outset they should understand.
Having no options at 90 per cent LTV at all would send a bad message and would not help entice other lenders into the fray to be the first ones to put their heads above the parapet.
All about capacity
The reasons behind this are pretty clear and it is not down to valuation issues yet, but is still all down to the question of capacity.
HSBC have been exceptional in the way they have continued to support the market throughout all of this, and it was fabulous to see Accord, Virgin Money, Clydesdale, Ipswich Building Society and others come back into this market.
It is also positive that demand is there that has caused some of the busiest days ever for these lenders in this market.
However, without more company it proved impossible to continue, not only due to the sheer amount of applications, but also to ensure a broad spread of business.
Until lenders can adequately deal with this amount of applications again it is a tricky one.
Big lenders like Barclays and Halifax need to make sure they are ready for it and we need to give them the time they need.
They still have people working from home and have been trying to do their best to keep things going.
We must be better
This is something pretty much all lenders have done remarkably well, and we cannot forget this and suddenly turn on them. We are better than that.
We should always fight our battles – believe me, I have had some with my apps these last few weeks with some decisions I just can’t fathom – but we must fight them with decorum and respect.
There is no point upsetting a staff member really trying to do their best and who, we must also remember, has a job linked to what we do.
It is in their interest to help if they can.
We must understand that everyone is affected by this and keep our frustrations at bay, moan to each other or report up the line to senior managers within those institutions who are more equipped with answers and may be able to change things.
Lenders will come back to 90 per cent lending, we have already seen Bank of Ireland and now Coventry Building Society which will help HSBC and others, but in the meantime, we have to educate and manage our client’s expectations accordingly. Something that we generally do very well.
Now is the time to all support each other, it’s what we do best.