Internet Insite

Mortgage Strategy\'s weekly guide to what\'s hot and what\'s not on the web. Kevin Paterson takes a look at lender websites, working his way from A to Z

A disappointing range of lender reviews this week, from the little known sub-prime gem of the London Mortgage Company through to the functionality- free zones of Loughborough and Manchester.

Loughborough clearly has no intention of developing broker links because, besides an absence of anything broker friendly, it insists on maintaining dual pricing with direct only products.

Manchester introduced me to a new concept – a society that has become a network, albeit under a separate limited company. Quite why is anyone’s guess. More worryingly, there are 76 registered individuals who also think it’s a good idea.

London Mortgage Company
www.l-m-c.co.uk
This is a simple no nonsense site. LMC doesn’t pretend to be anything other than a specialist lender working in a specific niche, focussed on near prime and sub-prime first and second charge mortgages. Having started life as a secured personal loan lender, LMC recently extended its lending range to include first charge lending. LMC is part of Matlock Bank which is the financial services arm of COFRA, a diverse Switzerland-based investment group. There is an online Key Facts Illustration which is good to see from such a specialist lender, as well as an extensive range of documentation – plus it only deals through intermediaries.

Loughborough
www.theloughborough.co.uk
Another underutilised mutual lender site with little or no real functionality. There is no clear link committed to intermediaries anywhere on the site and an extensive web search failed to reveal a dedicated broker site. In fact the most competitive mortgage products available on the site were listed as direct only when I looked and as we all know, dual pricing does not work. I know that the Loughborough does work with the intermediary community but you wouldn’t know it from the website. The only KFI facility available is via a phone back service, or they are available from one of Loughborough’s few branches.

Manchester
www.themanchester.co.uk
This is a simple but funky site. The graphics are pleasing with a moving tram in the navigation bar – quite different to anything I’ve seen before. That said, there is no real functionality in the site with the society preferring to offer a range of pdf downloads for various application forms and services rather than provide the facility online. There is no online KFI or DIP facility and you are redirected to an email address or telephone number to obtain one. One bizarre aspect of the Manchester’s business proposition is the offering of an AR network – something 76 registered individuals have taken advantage of.33,614 registered users can’t be wrong.