Legal & General is a tireless supporter of mortgage clubs as the best way to ensure a vibrant and diverse mortgage broker market. Our own Mortgage Club, founded almost a quarter of a century ago, offers unrivalled scale, excellent support, effective education, and industry-leading innovation for brokers.
Mortgage clubs need scale to make distribution efficient for lenders and to provide brokers with economies of scale and access to exclusives deals. Legal & General Mortgage Club is among the largest and longest running clubs in the UK, with more than 12,000 registered brokers, 95 lenders, and £65bn in advances in 2017. And we’re still growing, with lending expected to hit £70bn for 2018.
Our Mortgage Support Services have received nearly 70,000 calls this year, providing direct assistance on complex and specialist cases. This year we’ve added live chat to make it even easier to get in touch – with more than 18,000 using our service. We also work hard to promote procuration fees, championing payment on product transfers and ensuring brokers are paid early or upon completion.
We don’t just support brokers, though. Our New Build Club has played a central role in supporting lenders to develop new build, Help to Buy, and shared ownership propositions, increasing choice for advisers and their clients. We’ve increased our new build volumes by 28% from 2017, reaching £5.64 billion.
Education and information
Our workshops, conferences and road shows provide brokers with the up-to-date information and analysis of market trends they need to thrive. We hold these events all over the country and over 200 brokers recently attended our Autumn Live conference, with nearly 20 events this year alone.
We also work hard to educate the public and build awareness of the vital role brokers play. Our ‘Value of a Broker’ campaign gained considerable media coverage in the last year, showcasing the benefits of advice to a wide audience, and we plan to take the campaign a step further in 2019.
We work with lenders to develop products that bring real value for brokers and their customers. In the last year, we helped Newcastle Building Society develop its large loans proposition for lending up to £1.5 million; we were the first to offer Foundation Homeloans’ AST product for landlords looking to let out their properties on a short-term basis; and we’ve worked with Aldermore, Bank of Ireland and Post Office to develop later life lending propositions.
Now, we’re looking beyond products to the process itself, improving our digitisation to create a frictionless mortgage for borrowers. At the end of July Legal & General announced a £3 million investment in Smartr365 software as a service for UK mortgage intermediaries. Employing cutting-edge online fact-finding, market-leading CRM and efficient customer verification, the software can cut the mortgage administration process from weeks into hours.
Providing scale, support, education and innovation, we believe our offering is a powerful example of what mortgage clubs can achieve in the coming years, and how borrowers benefit when the market comes together.