Lenders gear up for online challenge

With regulation now firmly embedded in the mortgage industry, lenders can focus on getting their online systems in shape.

p/>To find out what lenders have done to improve their online offerings over the past 12 months, and what they have planned for next year, I quizzed some of the main intermediary brands.

Q: What trends have you seen over the past 12 months and how much business is being done online?

A: Mortgage Express – 80% of applications are now received online, up from 60% in 2004.

GMAC-RFC – Decisions given online have quadrupled, with about 95% of our decisions now given that way.

Kensington Mortgage Company – Over 50% of applications now arrive online.

BM Solutions – 100% online.

The Mortgage Business – Online use has gone from less than 10% to over 30%. Our number of registered users has increased 10-fold.

Q: What challenges have you faced online?

A: MEX – One big challenge we faced was the provision of full mortgage offers online in a downloadable and printable format.

GMAC-RFC – Shortly after Mortgage Day we identified a demand for pre-sale KFIs without a binding decision and reacted quickly. By February we could offer the functionality of obtaining a KFI with or without a binding decision.

KMC – Helping brokers use the technology. Some have had problems with Windows or networks software.

BM Solutions – Ensuring the proposition continues to develop to match the needs of customers. Also ensuring all online systems are backed up with a support service.

TMB – Getting brokers up and running with only a small sales force.

Q: What online developments do you have planned over next 12 months?

A: MEX – We will improve our online case tracking facility. The pace of change in B2B markets is rapid in relation to the online service proposition.

GMAC-RFC – We have big plans but we’re not telling yet.

KMC – Significant changes will include integration with brokers and packagers to avoid retyping, and end-to-end processing automation.

BM Solutions – We recently became the first lender to launch an online application process for additional borrowing. Further enhancements are planned