Employees discussing data at Mortgage Advice Bureau

The Challenge

Mortgage Advice Bureau (MAB) is one of the UK’s leading consumer intermediary brands. The company has over 150 partner firms and more than 1,600 advisers throughout the UK, all focused on delivering expert advice on mortgage, protections, and general insurance products. 

To accommodate MAB’s growing, nationwide success, the company has consistently been pushing to recruit new advisers. In 2011, MAB had 750 advisers, but the company’s target number for advisers in 2021 now stands at 2,000. 

The Learning and Development team – which continuously develops their offerings through traditional courses, e-learning, video, and social learning – recognized that onboarding so many new advisers was no longer feasible with their previous program. Advisers undergoing training previously had fourteen days to complete a digitized pre-course program covering the systems MAB uses. They then had to attend a three-day residential course and successfully complete assessments. 

Group sizes for live training were dictated by the venue and equipment available. However, on average, a business of 100 advisers undergoing onboarding could take around 11 weeks. Adding to the logistical and financial complexity of the previous model, advisors yet to complete onboarding would be unable to work. 

MAB also wished to mitigate against user attrition by providing continued access to learning materials and post-program support. Experienced advisers could then refresh or update their knowledge as MAB’s library of content continues to adapt to shifts in the market. 

MAB, therefore, needed to adapt its training program’s speed, accessibility, and scalability, whilst ensuring its industry-leading standards were maintained.

A new adviser at Mortgage Advice Bureau watches a training video

The Solution

Leading MAB’s search for a digital solution, Andy Cope, MAB’s Technical Learning Consultant, researched the marketplace ahead of the 2018 Learning Technologies Expo. “Attrition was always key for me. I wanted bite-size, on-demand video content which could be viewed anytime and anywhere with a Wi-Fi connection,” Cope says, recalling his priorities during this initial research phase.

Cope narrowed the options to two potential vendors. Each prospective solution addressed MAB’s use case at the macro level. However, one vendor’s dependence on live training and an initial investment of over $60,000 in equipment and software prior to license purchases posed issues. 

“None of these issues applied to Panopto. There was no additional equipment needed. Delegates could catch up at night or at the weekend and if a trainer had problems with a webinar, a pre-recorded version would be sent out,” Cope says. 

Cope identified that Panopto’s HTML player could grant MAB’s students the freedom to bring their classroom with them, fully optimized to whichever device, operating system, or browser they prefer. Panopto’s automatic speech recognition and optical character recognition would also aid in expediting discoverability for specific terms or topics, instantly taking students to the moment the words they’re searching for are spoken or shown in slides.

“When these sales figures are coupled with the delegates’ improved advice quality checks, it is fair to say we are now developing more knowledgeable and better-prepared advisers who are geared to meet the challenges of the modern-day mortgage market.”

Andy Cope, Technical Learning Consultant – MAB
An advisor at Mortgage Advice Bureau talks with a client.

The Impact

With MAB’s priority on reducing attrition and providing post-program support, Cope reports that user attrition has decreased by 12%. Advisers are also re-visiting videos for up to 12 weeks after receiving Able to Trade certification on average, with numerous advisers still re-visiting content weekly 9-12 months after successful onboarding. 

Despite an unprecedented year, MAB saw mortgage sales by new advisers increase throughout August to December 2020 by 12% compared to the same period in the previous year. MAB’s Advice Quality department has also reported an increase in compliance scores.

“When these sales figures are coupled with the delegates’ improved advice quality checks, it is fair to say we are now developing more knowledgeable and better-prepared advisers who are geared to meet the challenges of the modern-day mortgage market,” Cope says.

Cope predicts MAB’s continued and growing use of Panopto as the company itself expands.“We are hoping to secure licenses for the whole of Mortgage Advice Bureau staff in the future, which will allow department heads and senior staff members to organise departmental training from within the team.”

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