The lender reported 12 per cent growth in enquiries for products using the process, partly attributing the rise to the app.
UTB criticised other lenders in the specialist sector for failing to live up to their promises of improving technology.
Speaking at the launch of Dock9’s digital transformation playbook, Buster Tolfree commercial director – mortgages at UTB, (pictured) explained that the lender had not sought to cut out brokers from the process, but that “this was a message which probably needs to come from us”.
He said the app-based identification, which launched last month, had been working well and already cut out cost and time from its underwriting process, along with having other benefits.
“We’ve seen a 12 per cent increase in enquiries in the loans that we are doing that type of ID verification with, so it’s a real tangible upside,” he said.
“And the customers that we’ve invited to complete their ID that way, we’ve got a 95 per cent take-up rate, which is really strong.”
He continued: “We’re active in a lot of specialist product lines so if you think of a bridging loan where the ultimate owners of the company, one is based in Russia, another is in South Africa and another is in Scotland, how do we do the ID for all those people?
“Well they just do it on an app in 90 seconds instead of having to go to a solicitor that we’ve vetted – there’s quite a lot of upside for us.”
Walk the talk
Tolfree criticised claims made in the mortgage industry about technology improvements, which had either not been realised or were far behind schedule.
“There’s a lot of people out there who talk a lot about what they are doing, the exciting changes they are making, such as a friction-free journey,” he said.
“A lot of that kind of wording is going on out there, but the reality is those people have not really done a lot, those same people have been saying that story for the past two years – what have they actually done? Probably not a lot.”
Tolfree noted that some high street lenders had done “some fantastic things in that period of time”, but added that “if they are in the part of the market we operate in, specialist lending, they’ve done absolutely squat”.
“So it’s nice for us to be at the front of that and get some good messages on the back of it,” he added.