Former FCA mortgage sector manager Lynda Blackwell has joined a new digital mortgage lender as a non-executive director.
The start-up is called MOLO Finance and has yet to gain FCA authorisation for residential lending, but plans to launch into the unregulated buy-to-let market this summer. It is hoping to launch into residential mortgages in 2019.
Blackwell (pictured) says she realised the potential for digital mortgages to transform the sector and improve customer experience after a drawn out remortgage application process during which she was famously turned down by her current lender due to being self-employed with an insufficient account history.
Speaking on the LM Experience podcast, Blackwell said: “[This experience] really tells me why digital is going to take off in the UK because remortgaging as a customer going through that for the first time in quite some time, it is such a heavily paper based long process where you are relying on other people , you are completely in the dark, you don’t know what’s going on.
“I think it’s absolutely ripe for change. These digital lenders that are going to come into the market such as MOLO – I think they are going to really transform the customer experience, which is good news.”
She added: “The attraction for me is just how fresh and customer centric it is, because as a start-up you can start with a clean sheet of paper and you don’t have any of those legacy issues which are dragging the market back a bit.”
In a post on the firm’s website, MOLO Finance chief executive Francesca Carlesi says: “The goal is to create an end-to-end mortgage process that is simple yet secure, transparent, and a frictionless experience for the customer whilst helping to eliminate any unnecessary costs related to the current process.”
Carlessi adds: “By digitising the distribution, origination, and assessment of mortgages, we can dramatically reduce the distribution and operational costs for the industry.
“This reduction in cost to lenders will ultimately benefit customers by promoting competition and mitigating the barriers to entry in the mortgage market for all customers, especially those currently underserved by traditional banks (e.g. self-employed).”
The LM Experience podcast presented by London Money’s Martin Stewart and Lentune Mortgages Stuart Gregory is available at on iTunes at apple.co/2sigOXV. The interview with Lynda Blackwell will go live on 6 June.