A new organisation, formed to promote the UK mortgage industry and raise awareness and understanding among consumers of the range of options available, highlights the importance of advice.
The Mortgage Market Alliance (MMA), a new collective voice for the mortgage industry, has been created by PR supremos Alex Hammond and Rob Griffiths to promote the widespread availability of mortgage lending and sheer variety of product choice to an increasingly diverse range of consumers by means of an ongoing campaign of education and PR.
Accordingly, the organisation will publish a number of key messages, pitching the industry as readily accessible, highly competitive, and keen to lend and reach out to ever greater numbers of customers. The public, therefore, will be encouraged to seek independent professional advice as the optimal way to access the mortgage market.
In addition, the MMA will encourage all mortgage market stakeholders to join the Alliance and its campaign to create greater consumer awareness of the mortgage options available and how to obtain advice.
All businesses active in the mortgage market, who wish to participate in increasing consumer understanding, developing the market’s potential and creating new opportunities, will be entitled to become members of the MMA.
Furthermore, details of all members will be available on the MMA website, including a directory of all advisory member firms which will be searchable by the public.
The appointment of an independent executive chair of the MMA, who will be the primary spokesperson for the Alliance and promote it through all media channels, will be announced shortly.
Millions without mortgages
Hammond believes that there are millions of people across the UK who either do not know how to obtain a mortgage or do not try because they think their circumstances rule them out of consideration.
In which case, there is a pressing need to promote greater understanding of the market and the benefits of professional advice to consumers, the people who matter.
This is why, he continued, the MMA has been established to work with all stakeholders to publicise the sector as an active lending market which is very much open to business.
Griffiths added that he and Hammond had spoken to many people across the industry who believe the market could be doing much more to educate and inform the public as to the range of product options available and how best to access them.
The director stressed that the MMA is not a trade association, rather an alliance of lenders, intermediaries and interested stakeholders who can combine their resources and make the voice of the mortgage market heard.
Missing out on best deals
Rob Jupp, CEO of the Brightstar Group, added that members of the mortgage industry have been proficient in talking to each other and publicising changes in the market and new opportunities in the trade press.
However, the industry as a whole has been less good at enabling the public to better understand the available options and how to access them, resulting in customers missing out on the best deals.
Jupp added that he would encourage all businesses involved in intermediary mortgage lending to decide what they can do to support the MMA for the benefit of the industry and customers.
Paul Adams, Sales Director of Pepper Money, commented that their recent research had found that only half of customers would use an adviser if they thought it would be difficult to obtain a mortgage.
Evidently, there is much the industry can do to clarify the options and opportunities available to customers. If the stakeholders can encourage open discussion about the mortgage market, they will make it easier for people to seek advice as to the options available relative to their circumstances, which will be all to the good for consumers.