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By Bradley Moore

I am not alone in being a fan of the rise of technology. You can’t walk down the street without seeing someone staring at their smartphone or the number of tablets and laptops on board trains or in airport lounges. I am a big fan. Technology has positively revolutionised our daily lives both privately and in business.

That having been said, I am still of the opinion that for all the advances and the wonderful changes to working practices as a result of technology, in the business of second charge mortgage procurement, the key test for me is whether it can ever reach a point where sourcing systems can provide more than a starting point in the search for the right deal for the client.

I am the first to admire the work done by sourcing system providers and the facility can help brokers cut through the mass of alternatives to enable them to start looking at real possibilities for their clients. But – and this is where I am particularly old fashioned – there is still no substitute for the ‘low tech’ knowledge of an experienced and savvy human practitioner when it comes to refining down the list of possible lending solutions.

On the underwriting side it is the same. As many first charge lenders will acknowledge privately, the total reliance on a fully automated underwriting system is still not ideal. No matter how sophisticated the programming, the ability to fully understand a case in its entirety lies with the need to refer cases to a human being who can then assess the case fully and apply the requisite experience that a programme, no matter how sophisticated, can never match. Thankfully, the second charge sector has not gone down this road.

For second charge mortgages, the real value of using a sourcing system for the initial work lies in helping to provide a primary filter system and also a platform to help advisers demonstrate a compliant sales process.

At Brightstar, we pride ourselves on our vast experience to deliver the right outcomes for clients and their advisers and that ability to take into account a client’s circumstances to provide the right options for a client remains our key USP. Harnessing the advances in technology to making the loan process simpler for both advisers and their clients is a work in progress. However, what makes the whole process work well still remains in the experience and knowledge of human exponents and the important relationships, which have grown up between lender and intermediary.

While human beings and their financial life stories continue to deviate from a predictable baseline, there is not a supercomputer, besides the human brain, that can make sure that the choices available to clients and their advisers are the correct ones.