A new survey has provided insight into the concerns dominating the mortgage broker sector as the industry – and Australia at large – moves into the new year and attempts to distance itself from the tumult of 2020.
Eight in 10 brokers named concern over the speed and frequency of change around credit policy procedure as the biggest challenge they're facing in the current environment, according to the MyState Bank survey.
This was closely followed by turnaround times, of which three quarters of the surveyed mortgage brokers expressed concern.
Rounding out the top three was worry over meeting varying lender requirements throughout the application process, with more than half the brokers (56%) expressing anxiety around the matter.
Yet while the research showed a majority of brokers expect their businesses to continue to feel the effects of COVID-19 for some time into the future, a quarter communicated the pandemic had not impacted their businesses in any way; further, despite widespread concerns, more than half of those surveyed felt some level of certainty around their future in the industry.
MyState general manager of banking, Tony MacRae, provided context to the findings.
“Despite the challenges they are facing, mortgage brokers have played a very positive role in the lives of their customers over the last nine months – from helping set up deferrals to finding ways to restructure debt and lower repayments. This support has also extended to providing emotional support and reassurance for customers,” he said.
“While it’s pleasing to see more certainty return to the industry, we’re still seeing the pandemic continue to play out in broker businesses. It is hardly surprising that ongoing concerns amongst brokers, such as lengthy servicing times, have been exacerbated by the pandemic.”
Australia’s economic outlook, the impact of the pandemic on their customer’s financial wellbeing and diminished work life balance also cropped up in the broker survey as areas of key concern.
“Moving into the new year, these concerns are unlikely to disappear entirely,” said MacRae.
“But despite these challenges, we’re confident that mortgage brokers who continue to put achieving good customer outcomes above all else will thrive in 2021.”