The majority of the mortgage market may have its eyes firmly on March 21 as ‘MCD Day’ but for the second charge sector we’ve already made the change. On February 15th the majority of lenders went live with their post MCD-systems and, needless to say, there were a few teething problems.
So what did we learn? Well, as one might expect, those lenders that have been working on their systems for some time went live with very few problems, proving the old adage ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail’ holds water.
A number of lenders had already made it clear they would not be ready for the 15th and would instead launch at a later date. The result of this was that they were effectively off panel but as we were prepared for this it didn’t cause too many problems.
Those lenders who had perhaps left it a little late in checking their systems fell victim to a number of technical glitches and were forced to delay their launch but staff at all of the lenders have been incredibly helpful and there was certainly a feeling that we were all in this together.
Problems were met head on and worked out with very little complaining from either side and throughout it all master brokers managed to satisfy broker demands without causing any undue worry or concern.
One thing that became very clear was the need for integration between lender systems. At one point one of our team had to spend four hours running the various lenders’ affordability checks before the case was accepted. This is clearly not practical and I hope more lenders will be turning their attention to XML integration now the initial changeover has taken place. This will speed up the process and provide the type of efficiency both brokers and consumers expect.
From a personal point of view I am very pleased that all of our IT systems are bespoke and developed in house. We controlled our own priority list – did what needed to be done and started building processes to support the new regulatory regimes and sales processes well over a year ago.
What’s more we had already implemented an advised process months ago so didn’t experience the panic of having to adopt the new regime overnight at the same time as getting to grips with the change in lender systems. Indeed, it really does pay to be prepared! As a result what was a monumental challenge played out relatively smoothly and there was little impact on brokers and clients. Behind the scene I expect brokers and lenders alike will be dealing with glitches and manual workarounds but thanks in no small part to the calm approach taken by all involved, the practical move to an MCD process was easier than expected. Phase two – get the CCA pipeline paid out before 21 March and ensure systems and controls work as planned.
Steve Walker is managing director of Promise Solutions