GDPR is a fantastic opportunity to reform mortgage marketing

Lets face it, GDPR has felt like a damp squib.

The mortgage industry, intermediaries, banks and financial marketeers, spent millions of pounds preparing for the worst and then for almost a year, we heard very little.

However, in the last few weeks, every day seems to bring news of a new, multi-million pound, data breach fine.  The ICO it seems have found their feet, and the fireworks are about to begin.

Readers of the Mortgage Introducer blog will be all too familiar with the significant costs of compliance on the mortgage industry I’m sure and the near universal view in the marketing world is that GDPR is an unnecessary burden.

But I take a different view.

Cleaning up the way that Mortgage customer data is stored and processed and helping to tackle the fraudulent elements within mortgage advertising could make mortgages fairer, and cheaper for everyone.

For too long now the provenance of mortgage data, that is to say the understanding of where a consumer has applied, has been a secondary concern for mortgage intermediaries. It’s hard enough to find mortgage leads that work, without then making the job harder by imposing tight compliance controls.

But the reluctance to enforce strict controls over how a consumer is introduced to a regulated mortgage firm has meant that consumers have been treated unfairly.

Consumers have been promised mortgages rates they would never be able to achieve and they’ve been offered instant fixes to more complicated problems. Trust in the online mortgage journey has dropped and with it, the average contact rate has dropped.

Perhaps most damaging of all is the effect that fraudulent reselling of customer data has had on the whole sector. If a prospective mortgage client has the misfortune to apply on a rouge lead generation site, they are faced with a barrage of calls from multiple brokers and have no idea who has their data.

If the entire mortgage intermediary industry came together and pledged to only buy leads from lead generators that can explicitly prove where the consumer applied, unscrupulous purveyors of online mortgage introductions would go out of business.

There are many excellent mortgage marketeers out there, but you will only find them if you look past the ‘rate tarts’, the generators offering mystery free leads and the individuals who want to hide behind the secrecy of their marketing method.

We can make it mortgage marketing better, but we have to work together. GDPR gives us a fantastic opportunity to break and remake this sector.

This article first appeared in Mortgage Introducer on 25th July 2019

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