Bank of Scotland asked brokers – what would make our service even better?

Confirmed enhancements include an extended broker proposition and the roll-out of a dedicated digital portal.

About the author

Andy Bishop
Andy Bishop National Director of Business, Development SME Banking, Lloyds Banking Group

In response to an in-depth broker survey, we have further enhanced our proposition to better support brokers and make it easier to do business in 2019 and beyond.

The research, carried out in the form of in-depth interviews and a survey with around 100 brokers, provided valuable insight into what brokers see as their main challenges and opportunities.

As part of the survey, brokers were asked to outline what mattered to them most in their relationship with a financial provider. Speed, transparency and flexibility came top of the list. Unsurprisingly given our industry, trust and quality of relationships with their business development manager were also of great importance to brokers, as well as having one named point of contact. When developing its new broker offering for 2019, we have made sure these core challenges were priority.

Technology is one way to help provide transparency and automate the more administrative tasks which tend to slow down applications.

In addition to a desire for quicker and simpler processes, brokers expressed an ambition to learn even more about Bank of Scotland products and indicated they would welcome education through supporting materials, their business development manager and relevant events.

Extended broker proposition

In response to demand from brokers who are now working with corporate businesses across a range of products, we are extending their broker proposition to businesses with an annual turnover up to £100m, initially through selected brokers. The extension will include commission payments for overdraft and loan facilities, Invoice Finance and Asset Finance reflecting the large increase in brokers who deal across multiple products.

Brokers looking for simple and speedy decisions

The research highlighted that a key challenge for brokers was being kept up to date with the status of a deal. Some brokers also reported feeling confused about decisions made and would appreciate more transparency and greater consistency in this area. With this in mind, Bank of Scotland set out to find a solution that would simplify processes without compromising integral and long-standing relationships between brokers and business development managers.

Dedicated broker portal

We are developing a new broker portal which will speed up decisions and give brokers a better line of sight to deal agreement. The dedicated portal will address key broker challenges highlighted in the Bank of Scotland survey, and show useful information at a glance, such as the status of deals and decisions in principle. Response from brokers was positive, with over a third of brokers saying they would use the portal for smaller and simple deals.

The proposed portal will further enhance existing relationships with their business development managers where the majority of brokers highly value their trusted relationships by telephone and face to face.

Almost half of brokers surveyed said they were often asked to provide additional information after an introduction. To make this easier, documents can be uploaded directly to the portal from a broker’s in-house system which is something 50% of brokers said they would find useful.

Broker-led improvements

These improvements are led by brokers and will help Bank of Scotland become even easier to do business with for brokers and their clients. Bank of Scotland are grateful to the brokers for giving their time and insights. Andy Bishop, Head of Business Development said,

“The way we do business is going to be much-improved as a result of this broker participation. Ours is an industry built on relationships and it’s worth emphasising how much we value our brokers and their ongoing insight.”

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