United Trust Bank leverages multiple tech add-ons to offer mortgage in three hours
The specialist bank has combined its mortgage decision in principle (DIP) and auto-underwrite technology, which it introduced earlier this month, with its automated valuation model (AVM) and biometric ID verification.
The auto-underwrite system confirms underwriting requirements, and can offer instant pass, refer or decline decision to brokers after a three to five minute application process. The AVM means that a physical valuation is not needed when a property meets certain criteria.
After passing through the auto-underwrite system and meeting the criteria for the AVM, the borrower then completed biometric ID verification using the UTB app and the mortgage was offered in around three hours after the initial submission.
UTB’s mortgages director Buster Tolfree (pictured) said that the fast turnaround was due to the significant digital investment the company had made over the past three years.
The specialist bank has been making a number of technological improvements to its application process, bringing in biometric ID valuation in 2019, secure webchat in 2020 and document upload, DIP and auto-underwrite functionalities earlier this year.
He added: “We’re supporting brokers by providing great products, an outstanding service, common sense underwriting and a commitment to continuously improving the speed and efficiency of the mortgage application process, both of which are key drivers of successful conversions.”
The application was for a first charge mortgage and was submitted by Willows Finance via the UTB’s broker portal.
Aspen completes transaction in seven days with rapid desktop product
The deal was completed at 66 per cent loan to value (LTV) over a 12-month term with a flat rate of 0.89 per cent per month. The case was handled by underwriter Laura Randall.
It applies to a commercial asset in Derby, which needed proof of funds to proceed with purchase, and is currently waiting for planning permission to be converted into residential properties.
The rapid desktop product allows urgent transactions, up to 65 per cent LTV at the initial quote stage, to be completed in two working days and guaranteed within 10 working days.
To meet the timescale, the quote provided includes integrated legal contacts and fees as well as solicitor services which are combined with the lender’s legal firm. Borrowers can use their own legal representation if desired.
Aspen’s remote signing policy was also used to increase the speed of the process.
A formal decision in principle can be sent out within two hours of receiving the application and the lender can instruct both the desktop valuation from Vas Group and legals within half an hour of acceptance.
Aspen Bridging’s director Jack Coombs (pictured) said: “This case encompasses everything that makes rapid desktop so unique, from the speed of the transaction from start-to-finish to the use of the loan, which in this instance allowed the property professional to continue to expand their portfolio.
“We believe it is key to provide problem-solving products that give brokers options that meet their clients’ needs, as some cases require speedy offers, desktop valuations definitely have a place in our offering.”
United Trust Bank launches online DIPs and auto-underwriting process
The auto-underwrite system analyses an applicant’s circumstances to provide a tailored response to their application.
It informs brokers of any additional information needed to reach a full mortgage application such as accounts for self-employed borrowers or further employment documents depending on the borrower’s profession.
The online DIP aims to give brokers a real-time decision with a pass, refer or decline outcome given following the application process which UTB said takes three to five minutes to complete.
If the product requested does not fit criteria, alternatives will be suggested.
The DIP is integrated into UTB’s credit search and auto valuation model to provide a 30-day decision.
These new enhancements follow UTB’s recently launched document upload functionality and are expected to improve turnaround times and increase broker conversions.
Buster Tolfree (pictured), director – mortgages, United Trust Bank, said: “There’s a lot of activity in the mortgage market but brokers aren’t necessarily getting the speedy service from lenders they deserve, especially with their more difficult-to-place cases.
“These latest process enhancements will enable brokers to quickly obtain a DIP, be referred to a specialist underwriter for further help or get a swift decline, 24 hours a day, seven days a week and our auto-underwrite system should help accepted cases fly through to a quick full mortgage offer.”
Top 10 most read mortgage broker stories this week – 14/05/2021
Beyond these broker challengers, technology advances caught reader’s attention as new integrations and partnerships promised more seamless workflows. The rush of lenders returning to, or enhancing, their high loan to value (LTV) lending continued.
Meanwhile, the regulator ruffled feathers in setting out the latest fees to cover the cost of its compensation scheme.
Conveyancing costs double as homebuyers rush to beat the stamp duty deadline
HMRC warns of self-assessment delays which brokers fear could stall mortgage process
NatWest plugs mortgage application API into Moneysupermarket.com
Product transfers: Benefit to the customer or the lender?
Primis bosses heap criticism on FCA and FSCS fee blows and call for industry unity
Beverley BS offers limited edition 90 per cent LTV deal
It is a mystery why lenders insist on hard footprints for DIPs – Marketwatch
360 Dotnet and Twenty7Tec enhance integration for brokers
Virgin launches mortgage guarantee fixes up to 15 years; TSB adjusts rates
Opportunities rife for advisers promoting advice on furlough and the self-employed – Kensington
It is a mystery why lenders insist on hard footprints for DIPs – Marketwatch
Along with the welcome update that NatWest would not produce hard footprints for broker submitted cases, unless they progressed to a full application, the search for suitable mortgages in the ever-changing environment appears to be a trickier landscape to navigate.
So this week, Mortgage Solutions is asking: Are you having to produce a significantly higher number of DIPs for each case?
Andy Wilson, director of Andy Wilson FS
We are not performing significantly higher numbers of DIPs, but this reflects the initial research we have always carried out to make a lender recommendation.
Using mortgage lending criteria tools such as Knowledge bank and Criteria Hub help create the shortlist, and then Mortgage Broker Tools allows an affordability check. The lender business development managers (BDMs) can also be useful here if there is any doubt.
Once all of this is complete, we can submit the DIP to the recommended lender with a good degree of certainty it will be accepted – and most cases are, first time.
Where cases are declined, it will often be down to undeclared credit file issues. There can be disparities between the data stored across each of the credit file platforms.
This means that sometimes using the wrong one misses adverse data stored on another. Also, the dark arts of credit scoring can be steeped in mystery and kill an application, with usually no appeal.
However, we rarely have to submit more than two DIPs as a result. Needing to submit three would be a very bad day.
This is no different to our normal ways of working, and getting it right first time is always the intention, instead of taking a punt that a lender might just take the case.
It has long been a mystery to me why lenders would insist on leaving a hard footprint. Mortgages are not like unsecured credit, where a significant number of credit arrangements can be entered into on one day and allowing different providers to see recent activity becomes more important.
The lenders who use soft footprints still create a hard footprint if the case comes in as an application that fits their risk profile, so it shouldn’t matter how many other DIPs have been requested.
A high number of DIPs may just be that the adviser hasn’t been doing the initial research thoroughly enough.
Adam Wells, co-founder of Lloyd Wells Mortgages
It’s great news that NatWest has swapped to a soft footprint. It’s definitely one of my favourite lenders due to their good service, competitive products and flexible criteria.
Having a soft footprint is just another string to its bow.
Before we produce a recommendation and proceed with a decision in principle, we ask for as much of the client’s documentation as they can provide.
This also includes a copy of their credit report.
We believe we offer our clients a level of service they don’t get elsewhere and due to this our DIPs usually go through without a problem.
The most important thing for our clients is getting them a positive result and if we have any doubts we will involve the lenders as much as possible, as early as possible.
The biggest problem we have at the minute is down to how underwriters are assessing affordability and how this doesn’t always coincide with what the affordability calculators suggest.
We’ve also had issues with BDMs not understanding their own criteria.
Just this week I’ve had an issue with a gifted deposit that a BDM confirmed wouldn’t be a problem, only for it to be an automatic decline at DIP. Luckily the client had several options, and we were able to proceed elsewhere.
It’s generally the same big high street lenders that cause the same issues and I’ve found other brokers have had similar issues. Ultimately, it just means we are less likely to recommend these lenders in the future.
Akhil Mair, managing director of Our Mortgage Broker
When it comes to a DIP, most lenders already offer soft footprints upfront – both for residential and buy to let.
However, we double check beforehand in case they’ve changed their stance, because we don’t want a DIP to end up being a hard search. Then we apply accordingly.
Prior to that, as part of the fact find we try to understand what the client’s expectations are in terms of rates and fees, then we do a deep dive into their credit profile.
What we do now is, if a client has a county court judgement (CCJ) or missed payment, we ask them to download their credit file. That circumvents us placing a case with a high street lender who may or may not accept defaults.
Sometimes the credit report shows one thing, and the lender picks up on another thing, so it gets referred for further checking or declined.
If it is declined and we are confident it fits the lender’s criteria, we’ll pick up the phone, ask why it’s been declined and go through the credit report over the phone or send it to them for review as different details and timeframes are analysed.
We do sometimes produce multiple DIPs but we try to minimise it so it’s done once or twice and we can work smarter. If we keep producing DIPs, it means we’re throwing mud at the wall and hoping it sticks.
Because of the way the market is, lenders have increased appetite for certain levels of credit score. Many want clean histories with no blips in six years, let alone 24 or 36 months.
You pay for what you get, if you want low rates hovering at one per cent, you’d need a really clean credit profile.
Twenty7Tec adds Halifax to Apply module following trial
This will enable brokers to submit decision in principle (DIP) residential applications to the lender without rekeying information.
It allows for broker authentication, decisioning and case tracking.
If the DIP is approved, the adviser will be able to source the case on the Halifax portal so the full application can be completed.
James Tucker (pictured), CEO of Twenty7Tec, said: “Our pilot phase saw well over 1,000 applications submitted to Halifax Intermediaries through Apply, and we expect that number to grow exponentially over the coming weeks and months.
“The feedback that we have received from advisers during this pilot phase, in terms of time saved and efficiency of process, has been exceptional. I have no doubt that all our users will benefit greatly from our partnership with Halifax Intermediaries.”
Ian Wilson, head of Halifax Intermediaries, said: “We are delighted that this functionality will now be available to all Apply users.”
Twenty7Tec integrates with Halifax to speed up DIPs
The integration of Halifax supports DIP requests for residential mortgages, broker authentication, decisioning and case tracking.
If the DIP is accepted, the broker can then pick up the case and complete a full application in the Halifax portal.
“We’ve been working with Halifax since October 2020 to support development of its application programming interface (API) for decision in principle applications, and the success we saw in our pilot has been impressive,” said James Tucker, chief executive at Twenty7Tec (pictured).
“Feedback from users in the pilot reinforced our belief that submitting applications to Halifax through Apply saves significant amounts of time compared to keying applications directly into the lender’s portal.
“We look forward to rolling out the Apply integration with Halifax to all users and continuing to partner with the lender to develop the solution further,” Tucker said.
Ian Wilson, head of Halifax Intermediaries, said: “We are delighted to announce the integration with Twenty7Tec as one of the significant technology players in our market.
“As technology moves forward, and our customers’ expectations change, it is imperative that we keep up with, and advance, the ways in which intermediaries can do business with us, to meet the needs of customers.
“API integrations have been long-awaited in the market, and while we all have much to learn, we are delighted to have made this significant step,” Wilson added.
Moneybox partners with MAB to launch in-app mortgage advice
Moneybox’s team of mortgage advisers will work as appointed representatives of MAB under the brand Moneybox Mortgages, giving them access to the network’s panel of 90 lenders.
The advisers will be paid a salary, not commission, which Moneybox said would remove product-linked incentives.
The trial version of Moneybox Mortgage Advice will be available initially to certain groups of app users letting them generate a decision in principle using their phone.
Advice will be given to first-time buyers, home movers and those remortgaging – over the phone or through in-app chat.
Customers can use the app’s existing financial products, such as Home-buying Calculator and Time Machine, to track savings and know when they have enough for a deposit.
Information about the home-buying process and how best to save for a deposit will be offered alongside the new service.
Moneybox Mortgages will be offered to all users of the app later this year.
Ben Stanway, co-founder of Moneybox, said: “We want to give people the tools and information they need to save for a deposit, and then the qualified advice to help them make an informed decision on what the right mortgage is for them.
“By offering customers everything they need in one user-friendly service, we want to bring the joy back to home buying,” said.
Peter Brodnicki, CEO of Mortgage Advice Bureau, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Moneybox, which is a very well-respected, customer-first personal finance brand.
“Moneybox customers will now gain access to experienced advisers who will help them to secure a mortgage which best meets their needs – from the many thousands of options available. Investing in future first-time buyers in this way is hugely important, because saving for a deposit is only one of many considerations when planning your first purchase.”
Twenty7Tec rolls out Aldermore-Apply integration
The integration has been trialed since September and allowed advisers at Mortgage Advice Bureau and Connells to submit decision in principle (DIP) applications directly to Aldermore.
DIP decisions are then sent back to the CloudTwenty7 platform where the adviser can view them.
Following the DIP, case information is kept on the platform so advisers do not need to re-enter information when submitting a full application.
Phil Bailey, sales director of Twenty7Tec, said: “We are delighted to have completed the pilot phase of our Apply integration with Aldermore successfully, and are excited to roll out this solution to all 14,000 users of our CloudTwenty7 platform.”
Jon Cooper, head of mortgage distribution at Aldermore, added: “Our goal is to deliver for brokers an end-to-end digital experience, and this is another significant milestone on that journey.
“We’re very pleased with the results achieved during the pilot phase of the APPLY integration, so we’re excited to be rolling out these benefits to all CloudTwenty7 brokers and to continually grow this successful partnership with Twenty7Tec.”
Smartr365 integrates with Halifax Intermediaries for API mortgage submissions
This is the first up-and-running partnership of this type for Halifax Intermediaries and all users will have the functionality to automatically submit an application securely after requesting a Decision in Principle (DIP) within two weeks.
Brokers can submit mortgage DIP to Halifax Intermediaries with one-click through Smartr365’s Application Programming Interface (API) connection without re-keying data. The timesaving is in the region of 30 minutes per app, said the firm, alongside time efficiencies offered by the online fact find on the customer-facing portal and the document upload functionality.
Conor Murphy, CEO at Smartr365, (pictured) said: “We know that generating DIPs is one of the most time-consuming tasks a broker faces day-to-day, and it’s why we’re pleased to be simplifying this process in partnership with Halifax Intermediaries. Having the best tech with the widest range of efficiencies will be crucial for brokers to succeed in the 2021 housing market, and that’s exactly what we are providing.”
Ian Wilson, Head of Halifax Intermediaries, added: “Launching this API platform integration is a perfect first step in delivering an efficient and digitised mortgage journey for our intermediary partners and their customers. We look forward to working with Smartr365 and other technology players to deliver this”.
Smartr365 has signed relationship agreements with a raft of distributors including Legal and General Mortgage Club and Brilliant Solutions but despite its investment and ongoing support relationship with L&G’s fin tech department, expects organic not mandatory take up from advisers over time.
On the Smartr365 cloud-based platform, Murphy said his approach is to work directly with the big six lenders covering up to roughly 75 per cent of the mortgage lending market, but its relationship with Iress and other providers will bring more functionality from mid-tier lenders in the next quarter.
Murphy added: “We believe our tech is every bit as good as any consumer-facing technology, so we’re licensing our tech to brokers but envisage them putting it in front of their customers.”
“We take inspiration from businesses which are very focused on design and user-experience in the wider fin tech space. That’s what the mortgage industry needs. Mortgage sourcing is sourcing at the end of the day and you need to understand what the product is, but it’s how do you package that up using tech in a way that makes it easy for the end consumer to use and makes it easy for them to get what they want but keeps the intermediary in the process,” said Murphy.
The firm signed a deal to harness Iress’s Lender Connect software in March last year, allowing DIP submissions to TSB, Principality and Darlington Building Societies.
Murphy founded both Hammersmith-based Capricorn Financial and Smartr365 Technology and continues to operate as CEO for both businesses.