Buyers still prefer people rather than robots for mortgage advice

Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2024

Mortgage borrowers still prefer the human touch when applying for a home loan despite the rising popularity of artificial intelligence, research suggests.

A survey of homebuyers found 68% would rather go in branch to get their mortgage advice, while only 2% of respondents would prefer to get robo-advice.

Rather than trust the robots, people are more likely to trust their own internet research, with 21% of those polled preferring to find their own information from trusted sources online.

The survey asked a nationally representative sample of 1,010 adults which method they would prefer to get advice about their mortgage, from in branch at a building society, robo advice or self-led internet research.

Chris Hunter, deputy chief executive at Darlington Building Society, which conducted the research, said: “For a time when chatbot financial advice was first introduced, it was heralded as being a solution to speeding up the process. Whilst that might be a possibility in the future, and it certainly has its uses in some areas, changing the habits and trust of the public will be a slow and steady process to get right.

“Purchasing a home is still one of the most pivotal financial decisions that someone can make in their lifetime and it’s not surprising that people want to talk that through with an expert. It has been a challenging time financially for a lot of people and so it makes sense that people want a human touch to these conversations, which can be emotional.”

Darlington Building Society warned that the number of people conducting their own internet research presents its own challenge. The rise of ‘finfluencers’ and unchecked advice means that people need to be vigilant.

Hunter added: “It’s great that more people are taking an interest in their finances and looking to make informed decisions. It’s just about knowing the right places to look, who to trust and verifying that information with an expert.

“Ultimately, people trust people with the big decisions in their life, which is why our mortgage advisors operate from our branches, and online in a one-to-one setting, to make this guidance as accessible as possible.”

Via @EstateAgentToday