View more on these topics

Standard answer to an online market

Intermediaries are concerned about the accuracy of KFI data while networks and sourcing systems argue whether this data will come from them or from lenders&#39 websites. Against this we have a backdrop of lenders and packagers facing difficulties in coping with the volume of applications. And amidst all this, the industry faces one of its toughest challenges in meeting FSA requirements. The general level of service to the consumer in the mortgage industry is still low and must improve in a regulated market.

The solution lies in integrating the IT systems we already have cheaply so that every packager, intermediary or network can have their own automated mortgage process. We already have good point-of-sales systems, lenders have decision tools on their websites that give a decision in one minute and there are links available to online valuations, credit agencies and legal conveyancing services. We are tantalisingly close to a fully online process but can&#39t make the final move to a fully automated industry. The travel industry can do it and the US mortgage industry can do it, but can the UK mortgage industry do it?

The inherent problem is that it is difficult to get all the IT systems necessary for the full online process to exchange data. Lenders are reluctant to integrate with individual intermediaries as they believe it to be too costly to allow such integration with every Tom, Dick and Charcol.

Trading platforms themselves are in competition for business and are therefore reluctant to share systems and intermediaries are unable to pay the price of proprietary software. Yet if intermediaries are to survive they must be equipped with the tools to give the best in advice, service and compliance to clients. It is in the lenders&#39 interests to make the process more efficient as this is the only way to bring down costs in a regulated market.

Perhaps more action is required from the Council of Mortgage Lenders and the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries to gain a consensus on open data standards that are common across the marketplace. After all, open standards would make it much cheaper to exchange data across IT platforms and this has happened in the past. ORIGO was set up by a number of insurers to provide open data standards in the insurance and investment industry.

In 1998 the CML started a debate on establishing a mortgage trading platform and although unsuccessful, out of it came the creation of Ifonline and since then Mortgage Brain&#39s Mortgage Trading Exchange. A similar initiative by the CML could bring about the common data standards we need.

Post-regulation it is essential that current IT solutions are integrated cost-effectively. This would create a truly integrated online mortgage process from customer enquiry to capital market and make application backlogs, worries about audit trails and compliant KFIs relics of the past.

Recommended

Scheme to assist in money transfers abroad

Currently offered exclusively to clients of Hove-based CFS, the UK&#39s leading overseas mortgage broker, the scheme has been launched in response to the needs of Britons moving abroad or buying property for investment or personal use. Many such buyers are finding that the size and regularity of money transfers between the UK and overseas, for […]

Commercial First appoints TBMC as master packager

This enables it to pay generous commission of 1.5% to introducers on cases of any size, and unlike some other packagers, TBMC does not make any additional client charges for packaging the case. Other key features include no additional broker fees, up to 100% LTV with additional security and a repayment term up to 30 […]

NAB to give up banking licence for Yorkshire subsidiary

NAB is to run its business through its Scottish bank, Clydesdale, with the restructure completed by the end of the year. A spokesperson for NAB says:”It is purely a legal entity, for administrative reasons, we are consolidating administration and all the branding will remain the same.”

CMLS receives full authorisation from FSA

CMLS director Tony Salentino says: “We are delighted to be one of the first networks to obtain full FSA authorisation and we believe this reflects the strength of our network offer and the high quality support that our ARs will enjoy. This is a great achievement for the business and recognition is due to our […]

Building long-term relationships

Call us old fashioned, but we want to get to know you personally. That’s why we give you a named case manager and underwriter to look after all your cases from start to finish. Your underwriter will happily give you their number, so you can ring them directly with any questions you have. And your […]

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up