Together

In response to the rise of the machines



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A recent report revealed that call-centre jobs were under threat from artificial intelligence, with expensive humans being replaced by inexpensive software.

That might sound appealing if you’re frustrated by long call queues when simply trying to update your address with someone. But – as big business strives to cut costs and maintain profits – millions of call-centre workers around the world could find themselves unemployed. 

Frightening enough as that is, the report suggested that human judgement could be replaced by automated processes. This may make it even more difficult for those clients with ‘unusual’ circumstances to get a mortgage.

Here at Together, we still see plenty of room for humans in the decision-making process. Our software doesn’t and won’t ever have the kind of common sense we value. All it has is algorithms – however intelligent it is. So – just like we always have done – we’ll always have humans making our lending decisions.

Our approach means we can lend on cases involving factors such as imperfect credit, complex income, unusual purchases (such as Right to Buy or shared ownership), and non-standard properties – such as unusual conversions, and those not made of bricks and mortar.

In fact, it’s an approach so successful that we’re currently bucking the trend for call-centre job cuts. At the time of writing, we’re recruiting more than a dozen new underwriters, who are telephone-based and can be accessed throughout the underwriting process.

By having direct access to decision makers, the process can be much faster, particularly with the more complex cases where several complicated factors are in play. Confusion and delays are minimised, especially with the ongoing improvements to our My Broker Venue portal. Case documents can now be uploaded and reviewed in real time.

Lives and finances are becoming more complex – with over half of all cases now involving some sort of complicating factor, so there’s a strong argument for the use of good, old-fashioned human common sense.

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