Cultural shift could see lenders working together

The industry is moving towards a cultural shift which will see lenders working together to gain competitive advantage, says Frank Eve, managing director of Frank Eve Consulting.

Eve says that technological advances are breeding a generation of lenders that will work together to make life easier for themselves and brokers.

He says: “Lenders are starting to consider working with other lenders to gain competitive advantage. An example is the Origo initiative which will provide a data structure in the mortgage industry and help systems interact and integrate.”

But some lenders say that breaking the habit of non-cooperation will be difficult.

Ian Giles, director of marketing at Kensington Mortgages, says lenders will be reluctant to cooperate for fear of giving away commercial tactics.

He says: “There’s a great attraction in using workflow tools to open up your services to market quickly, but you have to be careful about which bits of this sort of initiative you contribute to.

“In the specialist market, the problem is we all think we’re good at underwriting and securitisation so none of us want to open up.”

He adds: “Those who are joining the industry obviously have a clean sheet of paper to work with. But we have a lot of experience that we are worried about giving away.

“There is a degree to which you want to cooperate with your competitors but not to the extent whereby it helps them. We have all fought our way up in the past 10 years by not sharing information and to cooperate now would be an interesting change of culture.”