For mortgage providers, customer safeguarding has never been more critical
With its incoming Consumer Duty legislation, the FCA is set to transition to an ‘assertive supervision’ approach to regulation – signalling a greater willingness to challenge firms and intervene when service providers’ practices and processes are failing to deliver satisfactory outcomes.
But more broadly, the initiative seeks to bring about a shift in culture across financial services, placing a pronounced emphasis on innovation alongside the requirement that businesses place customers’ needs and financial health at the centre of all decision making.
The reinforcement of customer safeguarding would simply be considered a noble goal in any calmer economic climate. Yet as the country continues to grapple with an unprecedented cost-of-living crisis, these timely extra measures may prove to be a vital lifeline for many struggling consumers.
And this is no more apparent than in the high-stakes mortgages arena, where rising repayment costs are not just making wallets feel conspicuously lighter but in all-too-many cases jeopardising the fundamental security of the family home.
Mortgage payments climb to unsustainable levels
With the cost of living continuing to spike, nearly every aspect of consumers’ financial lives are being put under increasing strain – a Which? study found that more than two million households self-reported missing or defaulting on a key financial payment last month.
Research by L&C Mortgages indicated that mortgage rates have, in some cases, tripled during the first half of 2022 – with a standard monthly payment on a £150,000 mortgage increasing by a full £100. This means homeowners already struggling with other essentials are having to find an extra £1,200 per year just to hang onto their homes. And this upward trajectory shows no signs of stopping anytime soon.
Many customers may be looking to switch to a more affordable deal to ease the escalating burden on their bank balance and avoid entering arrears. Others may be in a hurry to re-mortgage their properties with long-term fixed rate arrangements to cut the effects of further inflation off at the pass.
Whatever their initial thoughts on how to proceed, it’s vital that advisers remember a mortgage is the most expensive investment the average consumer will ever make. That’s why they need to be in no doubt that the consumer has fully taken note of and understood the information provided to them.
Indeed, in the spirit of the fast-approaching Consumer Duty, now’s the time to start going the extra mile to confirm your recommendations are genuinely in the customer’s best interests. Because at this point, the last thing consumers need is to be offered unsuitable advice – that could lead to further financial hardship – due to elements of risk being left unverified during discovery.
Recordsure’s AI Voice offers a vital extra line of defence
Powered by the latest technology of AI and Machine Learning, Recordsure’s AI Voice platform lets firms record and automatically segment 100% of customer interactions by conversation topic, allowing your team to zero in on specific risk points. For example, you can review the bereavement status, total savings or salient health issues – and ultimately complete quality assurance call reviews in half the time. Our next-generation speech analytics tool then scores each call, eliminating the blind spots that inevitably arise from manual sampling alone.
In times of surging demand, it’s more crucial than ever to know where to deploy your finite human resource. That’s why AI Voice was meticulously designed to remove the guesswork from your compliance processes, so you can focus your human team’s attention on the cases that are most in need of review. With this RegTech tool, you are able to tackle up to 20 times more high-risk calls per day with the same personnel.
And thanks to our unique artificial intelligence-based approach to risk identification, featuring our best-in-class analytics platform trained on over 2,000 hours of high-quality audio data, you’re much more likely to unearth any recurring issues negatively affecting consumer outcomes than by selecting sample cases at random.
Next-generation MI for better customer outcomes
With a comprehensive archive of past interactions and post-call MI, AI Voice gives your customer-facing staff the tools they need to drive consistently better outcomes. It also provides vulnerable consumers with the most suitable possible path forward by learning from specific examples of best practice.
Where once your call centre teams would rely on case studies or hypothetical training exercises to hone their customer support skills, your staff will have access to a repository of their own real-life, risk-scored calls to identify where improvements could be made in their approach and risk management strategies.
Not only will this help your customers resolve their financial difficulties as quickly and efficiently as possible but optimising your service through tech-enabled insights will truly set your business apart at a time when consumers are looking for a provider they can trust.