"This is remarkable and puts into perspective the challenge that brokers face in finding a home for their client’s borrowing needs."
Knowledge Bank data over the past 12 months shows that that the top five most searched-for criteria by brokers have changed every month in each of the eight lending types on its system.
This equates to 96 different iterations of the most searched-for criteria rankings, which Knowledge Bank says highlights the "scale of change that brokers have to navigate in placing their clients’ cases".
Stretching borrowing limits is one area that has remained constant, with searches on maximum LTVs appearing in almost every top five list. Searches relating to maximum ages have also remained popular across a number of lending types including residential and second charge mortgages.
Knowledge Bank has seen a significant rise in criteria searching relating to acceptance of self-employed borrowers and borrowers looking for loans in later life. Additionally, the search for loans for self-employed borrowers has been in the top two for ten out of the past twelve months.
Nicola Firth, CEO of Knowledge Bank, said: “Every single month in every single product category the list of the most searched for criteria has changed. This is remarkable and puts into perspective the challenge that brokers face in finding a home for their client’s borrowing needs. For too long now the expectation has been that clients have access to published products but this is simply not the case. Brokers are becoming increasingly aware that it’s no longer about the borrower choosing the lender but the lender choosing the borrower.
“When we’re out and about talking to brokers about Knowledge Bank we very often have conversations with advisers who have started an application for a product only to later find out that their client falls outside of a criteria condition. This is hugely frustrating for both broker and client as the search process has to start again, which means delays and disgruntled clients. I believe that it is now imperative that brokers perform a criteria search prior to product sourcing so that the borrower knows the products they actually qualify for. Additionally, with ever increasing, and ever-changing, regulation it is crucial that brokers can defend their product selection when it is based on criteria restrictions and not price. Thankfully this is one problem that has a simple and straightforward solution with the use of a criteria search system like Knowledge Bank.”