Do we need to drive quality by increasing competition or are lenders not taking full advantage of what’s already available in the marketplace? Watch the video

TSPs: How Many is Enough?

A recent survey of nearly 200 senior mortgage executives conducted by Fannie Mae’s Economic and Strategic Research Group found that many lenders view Third-Party Service Providers (TSPs) as indispensable, but expensive.


The results were quite interesting, partly because some opinions seemed contradictory.


For instance, when asked about functional areas with too few providers, Loan Origination Systems (LOSs) ranked second. That might suggest that lenders don’t see enough value from existing providers and more vendors would be welcome.


But when asked to rank the functional areas where TSPs delivered more value than expected, LOS ranked No. 1.

So, which is it? Do we need to drive quality by increasing competition or are lenders not taking full advantage of what’s already available in the marketplace?

The Benefits of Healthy Competition

If that service provider raises the bar for everyone, there’s always room for another competitor. Here are some benefits of healthy competition.

Innovation and Efficiency

Competition among service providers fosters innovation. Companies are motivated to improve their offerings, adopt new technologies, and enhance efficiency. This drive can lead to groundbreaking solutions that benefit the entire industry. For example, in the mortgage industry, introducing new digital tools and data standards has streamlined processes and reduced costs, thanks to the competitive efforts of various technology providers.

Cost Reduction

With multiple providers vying for business, prices tend to become more competitive. This can result in lower costs for companies utilizing these services, thereby improving their profit margins. Competitive pricing forces service providers to optimize their operations and offer better value for their clients.

Quality Improvement

A competitive market encourages service providers to maintain high standards of quality. Companies are more likely to invest in training, customer service, and product development to stand out from their competitors. This ensures that clients receive top-notch services that meet or exceed their expectations.

When Competition Becomes Too Much

But there is a limit to every good thing. Here are some signs that your industry may have too many service providers.

Market Saturation

An overabundance of service providers can lead to market saturation, where the number of providers exceeds the demand. This can reduce profitability for all players involved, as the competition becomes unsustainable. Companies may struggle to differentiate themselves, leading to a race to the bottom in terms of pricing and quality.


Too many providers can fragment the industry, making it difficult for companies to identify the best partners. This fragmentation can lead to inefficiencies and increased complexity, as businesses must navigate a convoluted web of providers to find the right fit for their needs. In extreme cases, this can stifle innovation, as resources are spread too thin across too many players.

Diluted Standards

When competition is excessive, some providers may cut corners to stay afloat, leading to diluted industry standards. This can result in inconsistent service quality and potentially harmful practices that could jeopardize the industry’s integrity. Maintaining a balance where providers are numerous enough to foster competition, yet few enough to uphold high standards, is essential.

Finding the optimal number of third-party service providers in any industry requires a nuanced approach. Industry stakeholders, including regulatory bodies, professional associations, and companies themselves, must collaborate to ensure a healthy competitive environment.

Encouraging collaboration among service providers to establish and adhere to industry standards ensures that while competition remains fierce, it does not compromise the quality and integrity of services offered. Visit MortgageFlex or reach out to John McCrea, today at 1-860-460-7418 for a live demo.