Coronavirus: Demand for mortgage support staff soars

Woman in home office during Covid-19 lockdown

Banks, insurers and credit card firms are having to hire thousands of new work from home support staff to deal with the deluge of coronavirus-related money queries from customers, according to a recruitment firm.

The Momenta Group said that queries for mortgage negotiators and staff advising on affordability were highest in demand.

An estimated 30,000 additional contingent resource staff might be needed in total.

One bank had requested up to 750 extra staff, the recruiter told the Press Association.

Momenta founder Richard Stevens said: “Automation right now isn’t a viable option when what’s needed is calls handled by relatable, empathetic and skilled negotiators.”

He said the knock on effect of this was that companies are requesting more UK-based call operators, rather than outsourcing the work offshore.

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Mr Stevens added: “The reason is clear: there are high numbers of individuals facing difficulties who are not calling their financial institutions to discuss their concerns.

“We estimate that, to date, only one in three individuals in financial trouble is calling their providers to discuss a plan – this will create a huge influx of call handling in the months to come.”

The economic downturn has hit people’s wallets hard. This week it was revealed that job centre claimants had risen 126% since the start of lockdown.

The need for increased financial support goes hand in hand with this.

Figures also showed that 600,000 had dropped of UK payrolls since the pandemic took hold.