Three of the UK's largest mortgage lenders have taken a majority stake in Mortgage Brain (MBL), with the aim of developing a common electronic trading platform for mortgage brokers and intermediaries.
The move to seize control of Mortgage Brain was taken by the Halifax, which is understood to have paid £5 million for a 51% stake in the Croydon-based company. The UK bank has sold on part of the stake to Nationwide and Alliance & Leicester.
MBL says the takeover "offers a great opportunity for the lending industry to work towards a common trading platform." The company confirms that discussions are already taking place with other lenders and introducers in a bid to drive the initiative forward.
MBL, which employs 32 staff, claims to have 1400 copies of its PC-based mortgage sourcing software installed at Life companies and IFAs across the UK.
Past efforts to develop a common electronic trading platform for mortgage lending in the UK have failed to win the backing of a critical mass of brokers, life companies and lenders.