Study examines use of internet in mortgage industry

Half of all intermediary lending is now conducted online, accounting for 19% of total UK gross mortgage lending, a study reveals.

The 2003 Mortgage Lenders&#39 Intermediary Websites Benchmark Study by TowerGroup and Frank Eve Consulting analyses how mortgage lenders and intermediaries use internet technology to speed up the lending process for intermediaries and their consumer clients.

Frank Eve, managing director of Frank Eve Consulting, says: “A key competitive differentiator is a lender&#39s ability to pre-populate the online loan application from mortgage sourcing systems and track loan case status online. This functionality reduces intermediary and lender operating costs and completes the loan faster for the mortgage applicant.

Without this technology, lenders would not have been able to effectively process the significantly larger gross lending volumes, which grew at a 35% annual rate the past two years.”

The study also compared best practices between UK intermediary websites and US wholesale lending websites for mortgage brokers.

Craig Focardi, senior analyst in consumer credit practice at TowerGroup, says: “The UK and US mortgage markets are converging in many respects. UK lenders provide leading technology for automated AIPs, but are moving toward the US model of online decision in principle functionality.

“Industry-standard loan documents and investor automated underwriting systems have helped US lenders quickly bring their mortgage broker customers and lending processes online.”