Is there a need for common standards?

Last week Mortgage Strategy exclusively revealed that Origo had delayed its plans to introduce an e-commerce standard for the mortgage market 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.

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.”

So, Mortgage Strategy asks: “Is there a need for the common standard Origo is looking to introduce to the mortgage market?”
Bob Sturges, Money Partners – The industry needs lenders working together toward a common goal. Origo’s decision to defer its entry suggests this isn’t happening – hardly surprising given lenders’ commercial sensitivities and substantial investments in existing platforms. Origo has to persuade this group of stakeholders that its proposition is better.

Colin Dale, Skipton – Lenders have spent a lot of time, effort and money on their individual e-commerce packages and procedures so it seems unrealistic that the industry would consider spending more of the same to simply re-do this work to a common standard. Without the complete buy-in of all involved it is unlikely this will take off.

David Copland, Pink Home Loans – There is a need for introducers to be able to transact a mortgage application electronically from end to end without having to re-key common information. But lenders that have built their own online solutions will be resistant to a common trading platform.

Mehrdad Yousefi, Alliance & Leicester – There is a case for a number of participants working with Origo towards a common standard if they have not yet established their own e-trading solutions. But it remains an open question as to why lenders which are well established in online trading would seek to be part of this club unless the benefits are more compelling than the current solution.

Martin Reynolds, BM Solutions – For lenders to embrace such systems, Origo needs to show there is a real appetite from brokers for e-commerce standards in the market. Origo would also have to reassure lenders which have already invested time and money in developing their own systems they would not be held back by those who have done little to produce their own online proposition.