The lending market has gone through immense changes over the past thirty years; the launch of centralised lending in the eighties, new specialist and sub-prime lenders in the nineties and the demise of most of them in the past five years!
The impact new lenders had on the market place has also been significant, with new product innovations like Buy to Let and Self Certification, new pricing for risk models around specialist and sub-prime lending and the implementation of automated credit score models to help speed up decision making processes.
We have also seen over that period the growth of commercial, short term and bridging lenders and the new products and distribution strategies they brought to the market.
That development of lending markets has brought some interesting challenges to the limited number of expert witnesses that are active in the mortgage and loan sector. With the current level of negligence claims showing no sign of slowing down, we would question the abilities of some experts to deal with the enormous scale and scope of the issues now facing us.
As we continue to develop our own expert services, we only recruit new auditors that bring added value to our proposition, normally in the form of recent experience within lenders. Not only does that mean we are able to handle more individual and multiple action cases, but also broadens our knowledge of the market place and lender products. Our database of lender products extends back to 1989 and that knowledge, combined with the personal experience of the team has proved invaluable.
But we are not standing still – our latest recruits include former underwriters and credit/risk managers from centralised lenders like Bank of Ireland and GMAC.
It is important that an expert’s knowledge is not only up to date with regard to products and criteria, but also they completely understand the difference between underwriting a loan as a bank manager in the eighties, through to the automated underwriting models of more recent times.