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The show must go on: Brokers and lenders unite in light of Covid-19

The Society of Mortgage Professionals (SMP) has revealed how brokers are helping consumers worried about their finances during the coronavirus outbreak.

David Thomas, chair of SMP, says following the government’s call for lockdown, brokers have switched face-to-face meetings to engaging with clients via email, telephone calls, plus online meeting facilities such as Skype and Zoom.

With house moves being delayed as a result of the government’s action to slow the spread of the coronavirus, Thomas claims the flow of new business will dry up for mortgage brokers in coming weeks.

However, he believes remortgage and rate review business is likely to continue and even increase during the lockdown period as UK homeowners review their finances and look to cut expenditure where possible in these uncertain times.

For remortgaging and rate review business, Thomas says surveys are causing an issue as surveyors are unable to visit properties due to the social distancing requirements set in place by the government.

He says as a result of this, lenders are working hard to try and increase the scope of desktop valuations, usually restricted to lower percentage borrowing, to more conventional property types.

Thomas, who is also joint managing partner of Chadney Bulgin, comments: “I am pleased to see brokers and lenders uniting to help consumers during what chancellor Rishi Sunak identified as an economic fight never seen before during peacetime.”

“The Society of Mortgage Professionals remains committed to supporting our members throughout this period and ensuring the best possible outcomes for our clients and customers.”

He says: “Over the coming weeks and months, we will be focused on providing the sector with the knowledge and skills to navigate the challenges that lie ahead.”

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