A new organisation has launched today to promote the UK mortgage industry, raise awareness and understanding among consumers about the range of options available, and highlight the importance of advice.
The Mortgage Market Alliance (MMA) – a collaborative new voice for the mortgage industry – will promote the strong availability of mortgage lending and product choice to an increasingly diverse range of customers via an ongoing campaign of PR and education.
The MMA will communicate a number of key messages, outlining how the mortgage market is open for business, has a strong appetite to lend, is increasing its reach and is highly competitive.
Customers will be encouraged to seek professional, independent advice as the best way to access the mortgage market.
The MMA is urging all mortgage market stakeholders to join the Alliance and its campaign for greater consumer awareness of the mortgage options available and the advice channels they can access.
Membership of the MMA is open to all businesses active in, and around, the mortgage market who wish to play their part in increasing consumer understanding, developing the potential of the market and opening up new opportunities.
Details of all members will be available via the MMA website, including a directory of all advisory member firms which will be searchable by consumers.
The MMA will shortly announce the appointment of an independent Chair for the organisation who will be the primary spokesperson for the Alliance and promote it through all media channels.
Alex Hammond, Director of the Mortgage Market Alliance, said: “We know there are millions of people across the UK who either don’t know where to turn to get a mortgage or don’t even try because they believe their circumstances rule them out of consideration, and so there is an urgent need to promote greater understanding of the market and the benefits of professional advice to the people who matter – consumers. This is why we have established the MMA and why we’ll be working with all mortgage market stakeholders to get the message of an active lending market, open to business, out there to the mass market.”
Rob Griffiths, Director of the Mortgage Market Alliance, said: “We have spoken to a large number of people across the industry who share the opinion that the market as a whole could be doing more to educate and inform consumers about the depth and breadth of product options available and how best to access all it has to offer.
“The FCA recently introduced rule changes that encourage the execution-only channel, but for many consumers, having access to the right advice and the right lenders for their circumstances will always remain the best way to secure the most appropriate mortgage. So, at the MMA, we will be very clear about the importance of professional advice as the best route for consumers to access all that the market has to offer.
“The MMA isn’t a trade association – it’s an alliance of lenders, intermediaries, and all other interested stakeholders, who can combine their resources and amplify the voice of the mortgage market. We want to ensure consumers know the opportunities that exist in today’s UK mortgage market and promote the positive benefits of accessing the market via advisers. By doing this, we believe we can deliver growth and help educate consumers on all the positive aspects of the sector.”
Rob Jupp, CEO at The Brightstar Group, said: “We are very good, in the mortgage industry, at talking to ourselves and maintaining meaningful dialogue within the trade press about changes in the market and new opportunities. But we have been less good at looking outwards and engaging with the general public to help them better understand the options that are available and how best to access them. The result is that there are customers out there who are missing out on opportunities, and this is something we need to change. It’s a big job and will take a collective effort, which is why I am so pleased that the need for industry collaboration has been recognised and the Mortgage Market Alliance has been established. I would encourage all businesses involved with intermediary mortgage lending to look at what they can do to support the MMA and pull together for the good of our industry and our customers.”
Paul Adams, Sales Director at lender, Pepper Money, said: “Recent research by Pepper Money found that only half of customers would use an adviser if they thought they might struggle to get a mortgage, so we clearly have a lot of work to do to help people to better understand the options and opportunities that are available to them. Whether customers are potential first-time buyers, home movers, or are looking to remortgage, the launch of the MMA is a big step in the right direction. If we are able to encourage increased awareness and open discussion about the market, we can make it easier for people to seek advice about the options they have with their finances and, ultimately, this will be beneficial to everyone.”