Pundits divided over applications

Last week&#39s Best Practice in Mortgage Processing conference revealed that most industry pundits do not believe that mortgage lenders will ever have standard application forms.

Speaking at the conference, Elliott Stoneham, IT director at Pink Home Loans, said: “I think the industry will consolidate, which will lead to a small number of generic application forms – maybe eventually evolving into one. It will depend on the major banks.”

Stoneham pointed out that two-thirds of the Pink lender panel accepted its 16-page, 200-question application form. He said the most difficult hurdle was drawing up a declaration that that all lenders and their solicitors were happy with. He said the benefits to intermediaries were a higher likelihood of a case being placed and a fee being paid, and learning to fill in just one form.

And Stoneham went on to say: “Best practice is reflected and compliance is helped, because the form is the condensed views of 20 lenders and has been seen by many solicitors.”

But Richard Griffiths, managing director of Network Data, says: “There will never be a common application form, lenders will never all agree.”

And Ray Boulger, senior technical manager at Charcol, says: “Lenders will not give up the competitive advantage of having different forms. Also, brokers are familiar with the different underwriting criteria of the various lenders.”