Mortgage lenders blame electronic failings on lack of standards

Mortgage lenders blame electronic failings on lack of standards

Lack of common industry standards for processing mortgage applications electronically is the largest single reason why UK lenders are not embracing e-commerce, according to a new survey from UK-based Focus Solutions.

Thirty five per cent of the UK's best-known mortgage providers complain that the lack of data standards is the largest barrier to going electronic. As many as 17 per cent are still struggling with changing internal company procedures and working practices to accommodate the Web.

Others find difficulty cost-justifying the investment (12 per cent); the same number are considering whether to build systems in-house or use existing service providers.

Nearly 90 per cent of those surveyed believe it would make it significantly cheaper to process new business applications electronically and that they would be able to win more business both from consumers and intermediaries via the Web. Eleven per cent say the major benefit for doing business electronically is to ensure compliance procedures are followed by intermediaries.

More than half of those polled estimate they will be processing up to five per cent of their new business via the Internet in 2003. By 2006 the majority of mortgage providers (53 per cent) expect to be doing up to 15 per cent of business via the Web.

Focus Solutions, which recently launched a product to help mortgage providers and intermediaries introduce electronic capture of mortgage applications, conducted the survey at a recent mortgage seminar.

In late May, three of the UK's largest mortgage lenders - Halifax, Alliance & Leicester and Nationwide - took a majority stake in software company Mortgage Brain (MBL), with the aim of developing a common electronic trading platform for mortgage brokers and intermediaries.

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