Internet Insite

Mortgage Strategy\'s weekly guide to what\'s hot and what\'s not on the web. Kevin Paterson takes a look at lender websites, working his way from A to Z

One of the sites I was meant to look at this week was GE Money and while I found sites for Finland, the US, Canada Ireland and Australia, the UK site greets you with a stopwatch directing users to a phone number. This is a trifle disappointing for a global financial behemoth.

Furness is the ‘nice but dim’ website of the week. It’s great to look at but not much in the way of content. Future is a clear, no messing business-like site that provides exactly what you need and the GMAC-RFC site is a comprehensive broker orientated website – again with all you need, even if it is a bit smug. Overall a pleasant bunch to review.

A clear, bright homepage but no obvious links to the intermediary market. Although the Initial Disclosure Document is available to view online there is no facility for an online Key Facts Illustration. Instead, the site directs you to a short enquiry form to be submitted so that you can be contacted by an interviewer. Many of the society’s current rates are listed with the obvious exception of its range of fixed rates. There are no calculators at all and the overall functionality of the website is basic, which is a shame as graphically it ticks all the right boxes.

Future Mortgages
An intermediary-only site that requires registration to gain access but the process is quick. There is a useful ‘site last updated’ counter on the homepage so you can tell how up-to-date it is. One annoying feature is the constant reference to the new updated site, which is irrelevant as existing users will know and new users won’t care. There is an online KFI facility as well as an online decision in principle with a quick response time. Your application can be processed online, stored for later submission and tracked. There is a useful literature archive section plus lots of additional tools for advisers. This site provides you with everything that you could want from a lender site. Many mainstream lenders would do well to study it.

GMAC Residential Funding
GMAC Residential Funding is part of the mighty General Motors group and has a top 40 position among the world’s financial services companies. The homepage gives two options – an intermediary or a public route. The intermediary homepage is clear with bullet point headline rates published for each market sector for eye-catching ease of use. Online functionality starts with registration after which you can apply for a binding DIP as well the novel pre-decision DIP that will leave no footprint. You can book the funds and the valuation as well as track your cases online, plus produce an online KFI. The calculators are functional but annoyingly not directly linked to the rates. An easy to use, pleasant and functional website.33,614 registered users can’t be wrong