Open standards plan deferred

Origo has deferred the creation of e-commerce standards in the mortgage sector until the middle of next year.

Frank Eve, managing director of Frank Eve Consulting, has been meeting industry representatives over recent months to help move the project forward. But he says Origo has now decided to extend the research period for the project into next year.

Origo, the financial services industry standards body, was due to enter the mortgage industry at the end of this month but Eve says it will now be towards the middle of next year.

He says: “Origo decided to extend the research period into next year. It wanted to try and get something up and running by the end of October but has now decided to work well beyond that. Lenders need more time to think about the opportunities and the proposition Origo is offering.”

Origo, which is owned by life, pensions and investment providers, aims to foster structure and direction within e-commerce for the financial services industry.

But its plans have met with a mixed reaction from lenders, many fearing the standards could cost them up to 10,000 a year.

Origo is owned by 16 providers, some sponsored and others not, with each paying 10,000 per year to use the open standards.

Mark Lofthouse, chief executive officer of Mortgage Brain, suggests Origo should consider looking at other areas of financial services where more value can be added.

He says: “Many people have questioned what Origo can bring to the mortgage arena, especially as electronic trading is already a reality. Combining the transaction volumes on the MTE – now standing at 3,000 a week – with business submitted direct to lenders, most business is probably already being submitted electronically.

“We have suggested that Origo considers areas where more value can be added but as yet we do not know where its focus is.”