Why digitization and collaboration are crucial to making the amorteringsunderlag process – as well as the mortgage industry – better for consumers and lenders.
Almost two years after the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority (FI) released a statement encouraging banks to make it easier to get amorteringsunderlaget (the amortization loan basis document required to move mortgage provider), consumers are still reportedly facing obstacles such as in-person meetings, win-back calls, and lengthy waits for their documentation. With record inflation and a cost-of-living crisis heating up, competition in the mortgage market, these barriers are not only getting in the way of under-pressure consumers potentially finding a better deal from other lenders, but these anti-competitive practices could also be affecting the overall health of the mortgage industry. Is it time for banks, lenders, and FI to work together to reassess the current process for the greater good?
What is the amorteringsunderlag, and why is it important?
The amorteringsunderlag itself is just a document containing all the essential information your new lender needs to know from your existing one. For example, details on the value of a person’s current residence, mortgage amount, existing applicable amortization rules, and how they were calculated. A simple amortization loan basis (certificate), it’s known in the industry as the ‘amorteringsunderlag.’ It’s important because it’s the key to changing mortgage lender. Read more about amortization regulation and why it’s important here in our blog.
How does the current amorteringsunderlag process work?
In order to change mortgage provider, a borrower must first contact their current lender and officially request their amorteringsunderlag. Initial estimates can be a mere week or two, but, in reality, it can take much longer and be quite complex. With mandatory in-person meetings and friendly win-back calls, consumers can be left waiting for their documentation, by which time they may have decided that it’s not worth the hassle of moving lender. Despite FI requesting almost two years ago that lenders make the process quicker and easier, it does not appear that there have been any substantial changes to the process which would reduce the processing time. If you’ve recently completed the process, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us here to share your experience.
Why does this matter?
With the popularity of housing credit institutions ‘challenger lenders’ skyrocketing in recent years, thanks to their fast and efficient sign-up processes and their ability to act as an effective way to negotiate and get better terms, competition in the Swedish mortgage market has been heating up, creating new opportunities for increased innovation and digitization. However, in a world where time and money are increasingly weighed up against each other, some customers may decide that such a time-consuming process is just not worth the potential cost-savings. Particularly if their current lender offers them a better ‘win-back’ rate if they choose to stay.
So, if consumers are getting better deals by just asking for their amorteringsunderlag, what’s the problem? While in the short-term and at an individual level, this may seem like a win, restricted mobility in the market has repercussions for competition, and in the long term, consumers could find themselves with fewer options and facing higher costs. Decreased competition is also bad news for the industry as a whole.
Our recommendation is to improve the process and industry for consumers and lenders through digitization and collaboration. An open market where new entrants can challenge traditional banks and lenders creates a more dynamic and innovative environment where boundaries are pushed and change happens, driving growth.
Firstly, digitizing and automating labor-intensive processes would enable lenders to share the information that the amortization certificate contains without the current associated heavy admin costs. Cumbersome processes could be quickly and easily streamlined by implementing a smart integrated mortgage lending system with cloud-based mortgage modules, creating a more enjoyable experience for consumers and admin staff and enabling senior leaders to focus on business growth. In addition, the resulting cost savings could also provide more room to maneuver where profit margins are concerned, enabling banks to offer more competitive rates to under-pressure customers looking to save where they can.
Secondly, by collaborating, banks, lenders, and FI could harness the power of their collective know-how. Working together to reassess the current process for the greater good of the mortgage industry. A more open approach, with greater transparency and visibility of the various processes (something which FI mentioned in their first statement), is essential if a universal streamlined solution is to be developed that works for and benefits everyone.
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