Competing mortgage sourcing systems are being offered the chance to link up with Mortgage Brain’s common trading platform when it becomes operational.
The move would mean brokers using rival sourcing systems could potentially follow a link to the trading platform and apply to the lender online. One of the systems approached by Mortgage Brain, TMOS, has expressed an interest.
Mark Charlesworth, managing director of TMOS, said: ‘We are saying that if the IT protocol can be implemented then we would be happy to hook into their system.’
The proposed new common trading platform was announced at the end of May when Halifax, Nationwide and Alliance & Leicester took a majority stake in Mortgage Brain. The lenders plan to sell their stakes in the platform to other lenders to try and create an industry standard trading platform with the ability to deliver agreements in principle while enabling brokers to send applications direct to lenders.
Mike Green, managing director of Mortgage Brain, said: ‘True e-trading has taken a long time to develop. A lot of lenders were nervous of swinging behind one platform and delivering through just one company, but if we can trade all mortgage applications it enhances their propositions.
He added: ‘We will still have our sourcing system, but other systems will not need the electronic delivery mechanisms we are setting up to deliver the case to the lender, as they can link to ours.’
The announcement has been given a cautious welcome by a number of interested parties, with some reserving judgement until the trading platform is fully operational.
Rob Clifford, managing director of mortgageforce, said: ‘It is paramount that intermediaries have an independent trading platform which gives universal access to all lenders. To date, mortgage sourcing systems have either not offered an e-trading capability or access to all lenders. I think this will work though because the level of investment is coming from people with a vested interest.’
However, following IFonline’s acquisition of sourcing system Trigold, there could soon be two competing trading platforms in the industry.
Richard Hurst, marketing manager at IFonline, said: ‘We are delighted that lenders appear to share our vision for online trading. In other industries there is always more than one provider, and it is good for the marketplace.’