Origo, the UK's financial services industry standards body, today announced plans to facilitate the implementation of e-commerce standards in the mortgage industry.
The Board, which consists of the leading life and pensions companies, has given the go ahead to develop an implementation plan in consultation with the mortgage industry.
Frank Eve Consulting Limited, a leading UK strategic consultancy specialising in the mortgage industry, has been engaged to drive this project forward. Frank Eve will be meeting with industry representatives over the next few months to create the vision and secure intent from new sponsors in the mortgage industry to invest in the standards. These standards will drive electronic commerce in the sector and create standards needed to help systems across the industry integrate. This plan will then be developed and rolled out over the next two to three years.
Frank Eve, managing director of Frank Eve Consulting Ltd, said, "Origo is a non-profit making organisation currently owned by the life, pensions and investment providers to develop structure and direction in e-commerce in the financial services market. It is the perfect vehicle for lenders, intermediaries and technology companies to drive and prioritise the data standards that can ultimately create the e-commerce platform that the mortgage industry badly needs.
"With volumes reducing and margins squeezed, the mortgage industry has to find ways of reducing costs and integrating technology solutions to provide intermediaries and consumers with a better, more compliant service. This is an exciting project that can change the face of e-commerce in the mortgage industry and speed the process of systems integration."
Origo has successfully implemented common data standards across the life, pensions and investment industry. Over 350 companies are now registered to use Origo Standards and Origo has significant representation from life and pensions companies that either sponsor or subscribe to the XML standards.
Paul Pettitt, managing director of Origo Services, said, "Origo does not supply software, is not a portal and doesn't have any vested interest in commercial activity. We aim to provide an open forum that acts as a catalyst to bring together groups including product providers, financial advisers, portals and software companies to address non-competitive issues. We are here to provide a viable economic model for e-commerce activity in the industry that delivers a competitive market place at lower cost. Ultimately we exist to contain cost for lenders, intermediaries and technology companies who ever they are.
"We already have a number of services that if extended to mortgages could be of immediate benefit. One example is UNIPASS, the digital certificate that allows advisers to access systems without the need for time-consuming passwords and log-ons."