Global Home Loans, the joint venture between the Woolwich and US-based Countrywide Credit Industries, will slash the time it takes to remortgage to within five minutes by the end of the year, writes Robyn Hall.
Through a call centre operation with manual intervention, the remortgage process can already take as little as two hours.
But Trevor Henderson, Global Home Loans deputy chief executive, said: “Because our systems are web-based I can envisage a time in the not too distant future when we will be able to offer a remortgage within five minutes.”
Key to speedy remortgages will be access to electronic databases, specifically those for credit scoring and property valuation.
Woolwich already own Ekins, one of the largest firm of surveyors in the UK and its property valuation by postcode database works hand-in-hand with Global Home Loan’s systems.
Henderson said: “If the broker can do the initial application on screen and e-mail it across to us, within seconds we can start to build in the credit scoring process. Coupled with a surveyors database, there is no reason why the remortgage cannot be turned around in minutes.”
Global Home Loans is piloting the scheme through its Croydon processing centre, one of 10 regional processing centres it acquired from the Woolwich last year. Henderson said: “We have more or less completed developments for opening Global Home Loans to a wider market. So far our staff have been impressed at how easy and user-friendly the system is.”
Staff can now input details of mortgage applicants faster than ever, which also means training costs are reduced.
He added: “As it is a web-based process it is straightforward and requires minimum training. One member of staff was able to put an applicant on the system in less than 15 minutes. The biggest problem we have had so far has been reading the handwriting on the application.”