To say that the foundations of the UK remortgage market are strong, would be an understatement particularly given a significant amount of factors at play that are driving business opportunities in this space for advisers.
And the next four months, in particular, are very important for all of us. As lenders including Accord recently reiterated, there are around £100bn of mortgages due to mature before the end of 2022, and given these are borrowers who are likely to be remortgaging in a very different mortgage market today, than two/three/five-plus years ago, then there is clearly a great need for advice and choice.
As we are in a rising rate environment, the importance of applicants securing mortgage products and offers quickly should not be underestimated. Borrowers will actively want to engage with mortgage advisers because the outlook right now and in the future, appears so different from that which has been the norm over the last decade.
Clearly, 0.5% BBR is a thing of the past, with the MPC raising rates to 2.25% this month, and with inflation running at high levels, the likelihood is rates are going to continue to move up before they stabilise. Advice, in that context, seems to be needed more than ever.
Know your opportunities in advance
That presents a significant opportunity but it’s also one that needs preparation, organisation, and the ability to move quickly if things change. And this is the mortgage market which has had no lack of change recently. And certainly more on the way.
That backdrop combined with the knowledge of existing client maturities gives advice firms the perfect rationale to make contact, educate and inform, and spell out some of the solutions that could be suitable for their clients.
One of the key benefits of our wholly-owned Revolution platform is that it helps Stonebridge advisers drive the remortgage process for their firms, highlighting when product maturities fall due well in advance, and providing them with the information they need in order to make that contact and start the conversation.
This can be achieved through targeted individual borrower-specific communications, but there’s also the opportunity to ensure you are hitting a wider audience when it comes to marketing your remortgage advice services.
When speed is critical
We’ve recently introduced a new Financial Promotions approval system with Revolution which allows member firms to react quickly with their marketing/advertising material. Something that can certainly drive business and enquiries, particularly around a Base Rate announcement or regular product changes.
The new system allows firms to submit, track and manage their financial promotions through Revolution, speeding up the process of approval, allowing firms to archive all their material, and ensuring they can track exactly what is available, signed-off, and how long it is approved for. The system even provides a 60-day notice ‘flag’ when the submission is due for reapproval, allowing the firm to submit it again or make any necessary changes.
This system puts advisers in direct contact with our Business Standards Team and provides a full audit trail for the firm as well as us, as the network. Having such an efficient tool means firms can be effective in terms of what they are putting out into the marketplace to generate enquiries, and also supports their messaging to existing clients.
Focus on the near future
For a number of years, remortgage activity has perhaps been the secondary market opportunity for generalist brokers, as so much focus and energy has gone into purchase business. But, clearly, remortgage business is re-establishing itself as a key income driver for advisory firms, and of course, with that boosted activity comes the opportunity for cross-sales as you touch base with returning clients and provide for their changing needs and circumstances.
These next four months are a big period for the market and advice firms. Utilise all the resources and support you have available to make the most of this and to drive business levels higher right through the rest of 2022 and onward into next year.
Rob Clifford is chief executive of Stonebridge