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

This week there’s a little-known bank with a lot to offer, an equity release specialist and yet another depressingly predictable mutual. These website reviews are starting to fall into a noticeable pattern, with lenders’ sites being either broker-centric with lots of functionality or those of obscure specialists that are neither for nor against thebroker community.

There are also lender websitesthat are little more than brochure sites and some of them not very good ones at that.

And one golden rule if you are trying to make something live on yourwebsite, ensure it works.

Heritable Bank
A pleasant surprise. This website is clean and packed with relevant and useful information. Heritable was a privately owned bank until it was recently bought by one of Iceland’s largest banks. From a broker’s perspective, Heritable appears to specialise in buy-to-let, self-cert and asset finance and is probably more attractive to professional landlords than the mainstream market. There also appears to be a willingness to look at unusual lending propositions that represent a good credit risk. Online Key Facts Illustrations and documentation are contained in the intermediary zone but there is no online application facility. I’m sure many brokers are not aware of Heritable but it is definitely one for the armoury.

Hinton & Wild (home plans)”
A painfully simplistic website from this companyof advisers that specialises in the equity release market. It is not at all clear if Hinton & Wild structures and lends its own funds, and it is equally not clear what else – if anything – the company actually does. I found a link to the Ecclesiastical which appears to be the company’s owners. This is somewhat surprising as I don’t usually think of reversion schemes as being particularly Christian financial instruments. I can find no apparent benefit to the intermediary community in using this website and I can assure you I fully explored it in detail – which took all of three minutes.

A depressingly bland website with no colour or any real functionality. For a small mutual with one office in Reigate – there is a black and white picture of this dated office on the homepage – Holmesdale has quite a wide range of mortgage products but they are not that competitive. But I got my hopes up when I saw that there is a Key Facts Illustration button on the mortgage calculator page – could it redeem itself with an online KFI? Well no, it’s not quite finished yet as the link takes you to a domain holding page. I get the feeling that Holmesdale is playing at working with the broker community. To be honest, if I were a member of this mutual I would be disappointed with this website.33,614 registered users can’t be wrong