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PACKAGING SUMMIT 2007: Common trading platform still long way off

A common mortgage e-commerce trading platform still looks to be a long way off following discussions on the second day of the Mortgage Strategy Packager Summit in Nice.

Despite the general consensus among delegates that there must be greater cooperation between lenders and packagers on technology, there seems little hope that this will happen.

Various reasons including commercial interest, competition and a lack of trust among competitors, all give rise to the problem, giving Origo little hope that it will be able to gain agreement within the industry on a set of common XML standards.

Kelvin Cooper, managing director of Solent Mortgage Services, says: Origo have a hard job getting a platform together because there are too many egos in the industry.

Cooper also predicts it will be at least two years before Origo gets agreement on a common set of standards while also suggesting the only real way it can be successful is through inviting packagers to work on the system as well as lenders something Origo has recently realised.

Meanwhile PICSES, the system used in the legal profession, was cited by Eddie Goldsmith, partner at Goldsmith Williams, as an example of an industry coming together to provide a platform for the good of everyone. But he admitted the vagaries of the mortgage industry would make such cooperation more difficult.

Roger Brown, director of the packager division at GMAC-RFC, adds there are concerns about commercial interests, says: There is commercial incentive to back a so-called super platform. But where do lenders go? We are not a registered charity and we need to make a profit.

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