"Instead of viewing technology as a threat, advisers should see it as an opportunity and an enabler to help them meet the changing needs of the market."
49% of brokers see robo-advice and technology as the biggest threat to their business in the next three years, a jump of 11% in twelve months, according to research from Legal & General Mortgage Club.
The figure also marks a jump of 14% since Legal & General asked brokers the same question 18 months ago.
L&G says the research shows the need for the industry to reinforce to brokers the opportunities presented by technology.
A smaller number of brokers (22%) believed customer behaviour was the biggest challenge to their business and a similar number stated non-industry disruptors (20%). The smallest challenge to business, with one in ten brokers (9%), was lenders.
Legal & General research also highlighted more promising figures, showing that 83% of brokers expect to diversify their business in the next 12 months by adding in new products, services or technology to remain competitive. Just 17% of intermediaries did not expect to diversify over the next year.
Jeremy Duncombe, Director, Legal & General Mortgage Club, commented: “Brokers might be in their strongest position for nearly a decade, but as these figures show many continue have concerns about the impact of robo-advice and the threat it might pose to the future of their business. However, instead of viewing technology as a threat, advisers should see it as an opportunity and an enabler to help them meet the changing needs of the market.
“For many borrowers, the advice of a human broker remains central to their process of securing a mortgage, but advisers cannot ignore the implication of a rising generation of future homeowners who expect the incorporation of technology in all their financial transactions and communications, and in many cases a holistic offering.
“Whilst it is positive to see that more than three-quarters of brokers do plan to diversify and adapt their businesses, including with technology, as an industry we must encourage the rest to not shy away from technology, but instead use it to futureproof their businesses and make their propositions even more appropriate to the next wave of younger borrowers.”