2020 has been a year like no other, and here at PMS our priority has remained the safety and security of our members, their customers, and our lender and provider partners. We have worked to ensure each has access to the tools and personalised expertise they need to thrive even in the most challenging of times.
This support is available in a variety of different forms, and throughout the pandemic has been adapted to meet advisers’ evolving demands.
For example, the remit of PMS’ market-leading Mortgage Helpdesk, which has handled over 42,500 calls in the last 12 months, was extended to offer front-line support on behalf of our lender partners, keeping advisers connected to their market while supporting lenders to manage exceptionally high call volumes. We also saw an increase in the number of advisers accessing support through WebChat, with a 50% increase between Q1 and Q3.
In addition, we placed a key strategic focus on product transfers, which we identified to be a key revenue driver during the pandemic. We worked collaboratively with our lender partners to support adviser awareness of lender activities through our product transfer grids. As a result, PMS’ product transfer business continues to be one of the strongest in the market, outperforming our competitors and our own 2019 record by 12.9% year-to-date.
The PMS Diamond Club facilitated collaboration between advisers, giving our largest members a platform to share with our wider membership how they diversified their offerings by introducing more product transfer and protection business, and by keeping in close contact with their customers. These peer-to-peer sessions inspired others to adopt a holistic approach to customers’ needs, increasing firms’ resilience for the future.
We also continued to emphasise protection as a strategic growth area for firms. We expanded our Zenith protection solution, increasing from nine to 15 providers. And we continued representing our members’ customers’ interests through our platform as part of the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries’ protection group, and the Protection Distributors Group.
As a result, we have maintained overall business levels despite the unprecedented challenges, with September 2020 being our highest application month ever.
All this was achieved against the backdrop of a pandemic. To support both members and the wider profession, PMS was the first mortgage club to launch a COVID-19 Support Hub and Bounce Back Hub in March and May respectively, generating 38,000+ combined page views. We also introduced COVID-19 lender response grids containing comprehensive mortgage criteria information, which are continually updated.
PMS’ proactive approach has been exceptionally well-received by members. 2020’s Annual Survey saw our net promoter score increase to 49, while 88% of respondents stated that the PMS team is professional and provides a great service. Meanwhile 85% said they find it easy to communicate with us, and 80% said PMS gives them access to providers and lenders to enable advisers to give robust advice.
In addition, our Group launched its Inclusion Council, working to ensure equitable reward and representation. Working with our partners, advisers both in and outside our membership, diversity specialists and competitors, we are striving to shape a more inclusive profession.
PMS deserves to win Mortgage Club of The Year because we are constantly reviewing, improving and enhancing our services in-line with market developments and member feedback, to drive advice quality and continually raise the bar.