Survey: Lenders Optimistic Policy Changes Could Benefit Lending Environment

Lenders One Cooperative, St. Louis, released a survey in which a large majority of lenders (73 percent) believe the new administration’s policies will have a positive impact on the lending environment.

The 2017 Lenders One Mortgage Barometer, a survey of 200 mortgage lending professionals, also reported more than two-thirds of lenders say they are “ready” for new regulatory requirements, such as updates to the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act.

“Despite some industry concerns over rising interest rates, lenders are optimistic about the potential for a more flexible regulatory environment in 2017 and beyond,” said Bryan Binder, CEO of Lenders One.

The survey, conducted online among a random sample of 200 mortgage lenders by independent research firm Ebiquity between January 4-14, touched on a variety of issues. Nearly half (42 percent) of lenders said they are ready to make investments in their organizations’ business operations, noting their biggest investment is in operational changes (hiring new staff, compliance support and software support). Another 25 percent of lenders surveyed say they are currently making the greatest investment in marketing.

The survey noted, however, while these investments are necessary for the industry to keep pace with consumer demand, they may also be driving up the cost per loan, with 65 percent of respondents indicating that the cost per loan will continue to increase.

Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of respondents said they are very prepared for HMDA changes. Yet, the biggest HMDA compliance challenge for lenders is around additional resources needed to report transactional data, such as home equity lines of credit and dwelling secured loans for apartments. While lenders are investing in staff and technology, one-third (32 percent) cite challenges with securing additional resources to report, connect and analyze transactional data.

Additionally, the survey reported though 39 percent of lenders report they are not using electronic closings (e-closings) on mortgage loans, one-third of those respondents expect their organizations to implement e-closings in one to two years, on average. The majority (61 percent), however, say their organization has implemented e-closings while seasoned lenders–those in the business for 10 or more years–are the predominant category of lenders using them (67 percent).