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Affordability tool promises brokers wider view of client finances

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  • 22/06/2017
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Affordability tool promises brokers wider view of client finances
Money Dashboard's affordability calculator is one of two digital mortgage-related projects to be granted access to the FCA’s latest regulatory sandbox. Mortgage Solutions spoke to the team behind it and asked what it will mean for brokers.

The Trueview affordability tool is a first step towards “digitising the mortgage journey”, said Phill Gillespie, chief product officer of Money Dashboard.

It will bring together account aggregation services already offered by the firm and add in the ability to calculate with far more certainty just what the user can afford to borrow, in a way that is compliant with the FCA’s regulations.

Gillespie argued that as a result brokers will benefit from a better understanding of their client’s finances.

The tool is one of two digital mortgage projects to be granted access to the FCA’s latest regulatory sandbox, which allows businesses to test new products in a live environment, but with full protection for customers

 

Borrowing assessment

 

Gillespie said: “Trueview categorises all of the user’s spending, working out what counts as spending on luxuries and what are the credit commitments, and comes to a figure at the end which details how much they can afford to borrow today but also in the future, based on stress tests in alignment with the FCA’s guidance.”

The idea is that borrowers will be able to take this information directly to a broker or lender to demonstrate their financial suitability for a mortgage. The firm has already conducted two pilot trials with mortgage networks, with the ability to export the data into the broker firm’s system, allowing it to accurately prepopulate the budget planners.  

Gillespie said that Trueview will mean brokers have a better idea of just how good a prospect a client is, but is also an option for advisers when clients arrive who may need some time before their finances are in a sufficient position to get the thumbs up from a lender.

He explained: “It may be that brokers send borrowers to us first as they want that detailed assessment in place, or perhaps if the broker knows they are months away from really being able to get a mortgage, they can send that person to us to help get them in better shape.”

The sandbox now runs until the end of the year, though Gillespie said Money Dashboard is working towards a September release date.

He said that the sandbox process had been “fairly intense”, admitting that while the original expectation was that it would be heavily focused on the product itself, in reality it has been more rounded.

He said: “The FCA looks at the business in detail, checking that you have the credibility and can deliver on what you are promising. Are you competent? They really look at how it is going to work from a commercial perspective and from a regulatory perspective too.”

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