The client was looking to remortgage one of his existing buy-to-let portfolio investments with the aim of helping fund a property for his brother. Like many landlords, he wanted to beat the Stamp Duty tax increase on second homes by securing a mortgage before the measures came into effect, which was just weeks away.
Given my client’s background as a professional landlord, choice was limited. We needed a lender that would be willing to take into account his buy-to-let income whilst also offering the speed he needed to get the application through before 1 April.
New Street Mortgages came to us promising that they could manage the information and get a mortgage offer to Mr Patel within five days. Lenders are increasingly embracing technology to streamline mortgage applications or enabling us to view product details at the click of a button. However, New Street’s proposition aims to take this further by empowering brokers with real-time knowledge and powerful analytics that fairly assess a borrower’s background. That said, my client and I were initially sceptical about the challenge New Street had set themselves, especially given the circumstances of the case.
When the application began, the difference I noticed was that New Street immediately provided clear instructions as to what was required for the application to be processed. We see a lot of lenders with online applications and their criteria digitised these days, but New Street detailed exactly what information and documentation they needed for their underwriters to assess the case.
As the application progressed, I was able to keep my client up to date with regular email notices, detailing when the application had entered a particular stage. This gave Mr Patel the surety he needed that the application was being processed and the peace of mind that it was progressing as we approached the 1 April deadline.
FinTech has changed the financial services industry in many areas, whether it is everyday banking transactions or buying and selling stocks, but the mortgage industry has been slow to adapt.
This isn’t just about making the lives of intermediaries easier, which it does by empowering us with real-time knowledge of where an application sits. It is also an important plus for the customer, who’s able to get their hands on the funding they need quickly, consistently and with the highest levels of transparency.