Lenders One: Info Security, Data Protection Weigh Heavily on Members

The Lenders One Cooperative, St. Louis, said an annual poll of its membership shows information security and data protection have become a central concern.

The survey of members at the cooperative’s annual Summer Conference said 74 percent of respondents indicated that they are very concerned about the protection of customers’ personally identifiable information during the mortgage originations and trading processes (even though this survey was conducted before the recent, major security breach at Equifax became public). However, despite the potential data privacy challenges associated with some technology offerings, members recognized that innovative new platforms have the potential to significantly optimize efficiency and streamline processes.

Lenders One said the need and desire for expanded technology use was evident among bankers surveyed. The majority (56 percent) said improving operational efficiencies was the most influential catalyst for investing in new technologies, followed by offering a better customer experience (26 percent). Technology is also positively impacting traditional mortgage trading processes with more than half (53 percent) of respondents identifying streamlining workflow as one aspect of the current process that could be most enhanced by a technology platform.

“Mortgage professionals today realize the need for technology to drive efficiency, reduce the cost per loan and streamline daily tasks and interactions with customers,” said Michael Kuentz, President of Lenders One. “At the same time, there is rising concern regarding privacy protection as lenders increasingly integrate technology into traditional processes.”

The survey noted as the mortgage industry evolves and adapts to new technologies and regulations, lenders are investing in developing their employees. Forty-two percent of respondents noted that professional development and training was the most important step their company is taking to attract and retain talent.

When asked to forecast how the real estate market will look in 2018 and whether it will be a buyers’ or a sellers’ market, the majority of respondents anticipate that 2018 will again be a sellers’ market:

–Modest sellers’ market (46 percent)
–Heavy sellers’ market (25 percent)
–Modest buyers’ market (17 percent)
–Heavy buyers’ market (8 percent)
–Undecided (4 percent)

When asked which factor will have the greatest impact on the mortgage industry’s growth in 2018, nearly half (47 percent) of respondents chose potentially higher interest rates, followed by continued increases in home values (18 percent) and innovation in banks’ menu of mortgage products (17 percent).

The survey had 78 participants consisting of Lenders One members.