Best Technology Provider awarded to…

Mortgage Brain!

We are thrilled that we have won the Mortgage Strategy Award again, for the fifth time since 2010! It also delights us to have won the Mortgage Technology Provider of the Year at The Mortgage Awards 2020.

We strive to provide the best mortgage service to advisers and lenders alike with our end-to-end offering by delivering the best innovative technology, providing solutions that support and refine the mortgage process.

This year, we have further enhanced our offering with the launch of Affordability Hub, as well as integrating Criteria Hub with our MortgageBrain Classic and Anywhere systems enabling criteria and product data to be sourced in a single journey. This integration was applauded in our recent award win, which was a proud moment for our business. 

As a business, we are determined to provide the very best technology solutions to help support the mortgage industry and will continue to explore how we can simplify mortgage processes in ways that will benefit everyone!

On behalf of everyone at Mortgage Brain, we would like to say a massive thank you to everyone that voted or nominated, and here is an opportunity to watch our win from the Mortgage Strategy Awards virtual event!

Mortgage Strategy Awards 2020


Mortgage Brain Team

Knowledge is power

With the housing market experiencing significant activity levels, it is a particularly busy time for mortgage advisers. That’s good news, but at the same time can make it difficult to keep up with industry news, trends and best practices, especially as the market continues to change in light of the pandemic. For those working towards meeting their requirement for Continuing Professional Development (CPD) hours, they have to address pressure to engage with many accredited activities as the end of the year draws closer.

As mortgage technology experts, Mortgage Brain creates solutions to provide advisers with an end-to-end mortgage process that is seamless, quick and efficient. But, it also takes pride in delivering insights, content, and training to support advisers with mortgage intelligence.

Take Mortgage Vision, its annual industry event, designed specifically for mortgage advisers to provide an opportunity to enhance professional development, network with peers, and share knowledge from a variety of industry experts. In 2020, it celebrated its 11th year and transitioned from its usual roadshow format to an immersive virtual event to ensure it could still deliver all the benefits that advisers have come to know and love, which we’ve summarised below!

Bolstering CPD hours with events

This year’s virtual Mortgage Vision event was accredited by the CII meaning attendees could earn up to 3.5 CPD hours from the comfort of their home or office by listening to experts cover topics such as the evolution of the regulatory landscape and the importance of an adviser’s role in the new normal; understanding the shape of a post-pandemic economy and intermediated mortgage market; and how recent FCA changes affect mortgage sourcing processes.

That goes a long way to meet your requirement for the year and you get to benefit from all the knowledge and insight along the way.


Do you ever wonder what your competitors are up to? Mortgage Vision is the perfect opportunity to meet your peers, exchange ideas, and discuss future opportunities in an environment where the statistics point to an increase in productivity. 99% agree that improved communication and collaboration of online meetings can improve productivity and 76% of individuals use video collaboration to work remotely, of which 75% experienced increased productivity[1].

Share best practice without borders

Our industry is tightly regulated, and businesses can find it hard to keep up with the latest changes in legislation. Industry events are an ideal opportunity to keep abreast of any new legislative introductions or amendments and will help you avoid costly errors. You may even discover better and more efficient ways for your business to operate with thoughts from insightful speakers.

Whilst physical events have their advantages, the online event environment removes any geographical boundaries that may have restricted the events you attend or the number of attendees you could meet. If you’re an adviser in Newcastle you can join an online event and very easily find yourself networking with advisers in the south-west of England without having to leave your home or office. And our Mortgage Vision poll this year showed that companies intend to adopt more technology to help them do that

  • 61% are using more technology since lockdown
  • 78% will incorporate more technology into their business to interact with customers

Spot the trends, identify opportunities

What is the next opportunity that could take your business to the next level? Are you missing out on a potential revenue stream? 37% of the attendees at this year’s on-demand event said they believe an increased need for help for self-employed buyers will have the biggest impact on their business, and 37%[2] thought the change to the Stamp Duty thresholds would impact their business most. Armed with this sort of knowledge, an adviser can plan for the coming months and try and increase their client base, something that was a priority for 42% of advisers2.

Find answers

Got a business problem that you just cannot fathom out? No doubt many people in the room have been in the same position. More than likely with this year’s online event attracting more than 800 attendees. If you can’t find the answer in a networking session with your peers, live Q&A sessions let you quiz experts who can identify issues may have overcome similar obstacles themselves and can help pinpoint resolutions.


Some virtual events allow you to revisit the content. Our Virtual Mortgage Vision event proved to be very popular for this with 79% accessing the content on-demand[3]. In light of this, we’ve made the environment available, even if you didn’t attend the original event.

If you’re looking for ways to meet your CPD requirement for the year it’s not too late to earn up to 3.5 hours of CPD hours by accessing Virtual Mortgage Vision, which remains on-demand until February 2021. Gain access by simply registering here.

If you have any enquiries relating to Mortgage Brain’s CPD accredited activities, please contact


[2] Virtual Mortgage Vision 2020 Poll


Where should I start with Mortgage Sourcing?

At Mortgage Brain, we are mortgage technology experts that take pride in providing advisers with products that help them to give customers the best and most accurate advice possible, especially when it comes to sourcing. One question we are often asked is “where should I start with mortgage sourcing?”.

Sourcing is your ‘mortgage research‘ and the main elements can be categorised as:

  • Products available (MortgageBrain Classic or MortgageBrain Anywhere)
  • Criteria (Criteria Hub)
  • Affordability (Affordability Hub)

Covering all three areas enables you to ensure your recommended mortgage fits your customers criteria, is affordable to them, and is the most suitable product.

So where should you start?

The starting point depends on the individual customer and their specific needs. Below are three scenarios highlighting where it would make sense to start your research in each set of circumstances. 

  1. A young professional couple, with no debts, no dependants, both in full-time employment earning £50,000 each, looking to purchase a standard built house for £300,000 with a deposit of £150,000.

It is likely that criteria and affordability are not the main concern (they would only need 1.5 times income). So, identifying the best product available with the lowest rate of interest for their preferred scheme with a product sourcing system such as MortgageBrain Classic or MortgageBrain Anywhere would be the best place to start.

2. A sole trader who has been self-employed for 18 months with only one year’s accounts, is looking to purchase a property that has overhead power lines running above the property which might cause lenders concern.

The applicant has a 30% deposit but has found some lenders require him to provide at least two years’ accounts to be considered for a mortgage. The primary focus here is not rate but rather can he get a mortgage given the circumstances? In this scenario, checking his criteria needs against options available utilising a system such as Criteria Hub would be the best place to start.

3. A single person in full-time employment is looking to buy a property for £300,000 with a 15% deposit, so they need to borrow the remaining balance of £255,000.

A client fact find captures their income, expenditure, and overall household profile and you think £255,000 might not be affordable for them. Again, the rate is a secondary consideration, as is criteria, the main concern is what lender will deem as affordable. Whilst this can be undertaken manually by visiting individual lender sites, using a tool such as Affordability Hub would enable you to quickly check if the amount the customer wishes to borrow is achievable from a range of selected lenders all at once! 

The above scenarios demonstrate there is not a one size fits all approach and illustrate how the latest technology can streamline your mortgage research journey. Such technology is not designed to create new parts of the sales process, but rather to make the existing processes more efficient and accurate so you can give your customers more choice in a fraction of the time.

Utilising leading systems such as Criteria Hub, Affordability Hub, and MortgageBrain Classic and Anywhere as standalone platforms can refine your process but become even more powerful when used together. To assist this, MortgageBrain Classic and Anywhere are now integrated with Criteria Hub, and Affordability Hub is available as part of your Criteria Hub license to provide an end to end mortgage journey.

Time saving technology

Time is money, and with cases becoming ever more complex, it’s easy for you to spend more time than you would like matching criteria for a client, when in fact your processes could be streamlined by embracing technology.

This is reflected by more advisers utilising the multi-search function within Criteria Hub which enables you to select up to 6 criteria at a time to source for complex cases in a single click.

In the last 90 days statistics revealed roughly a 60/40 split in favour of multi searches over single compare searches, with a surge in the use of both up 48% and 57% respectively, illustrating both the heightened requirement for multi criteria searches and the resurgence of the market post-lockdown.

When you combine the number of searches, the overall time saving is staggering. Using the average time for one search of five minutes multiplied by the total items of criteria searches 309,252, the time savings is circa 1,000 days. When you combine this with the ability to perform a multi criteria search within your product sourcing journey utilising Mortgage Brain, the power of these standalone solutions is truly realised.

Time savings can also be achieved when it comes to affordability sourcing with the ability for an adviser to do roughly 1.5 hours worth of work in less than 10 minutes* by getting the responses from over 20 lenders in a single search using Affordability Hub.

It’s easy to see how embracing technology in this way gives you greater coverage whilst requiring less of your time, no matter where in the process you start.

To find out more about how our solutions can streamline your sourcing process, contact us at

* Based on the average selection of 21 lenders per search and the average time taken to complete a lenders calculator being 4 minutes. The average time spent to complete all 4 steps in Affordability Hub is 9 minutes 27 seconds.
- all statistics accurate at time of publication

Making the complex simple

We are seeing an upward trend in adverse sourcing and advisers are now increasingly likely to be contacted by borrowers with adverse credit.

Recent research by Pepper Money and YouGov showed that 15% of 4,094 adult respondents had experienced missed payments, CCJs, defaults, unsecured arrears, and secured arrears in the last three years. 17% of these intend to buy property in the next 12 months which the research estimates to be 1.34 million people nationally[1].

Crucially, 57% of respondents with adverse credit who are looking to buy or remortgage said they would seek advice from a mortgage broker, up from 40% in 2019. And with the current challenging economic climate compounded with the growing strictness of firms issuing defaults, these numbers look set to grow. Whilst this rise in business is good news, it poses a problem as there is still only a small proportion of lenders who provide adverse credit and, due to the pandemic, lenders have struggled to maintain service levels meaning fewer options are currently available[2]. In addition, to service this demand, many mainstream lenders are reducing the threshold for specialist credit to maintain their service levels. So where does this leave you and your customers who need more lending options, especially those with adverse credit?

Embrace technology

Criteria sourcing, including adverse sourcing, can be assisted with the use of technology. For example, with Criteria Hub you can select up to 6 criteria at once using its multi-search function and then easily browse the results alongside any policy notes and warnings for each criteria. Advisers are turning to such solutions as the complexity of cases heightens which is reflected in the search behaviour of the platforms’ users.

In May, criteria searches for ‘Default’, ‘County Court Judgement’ both experienced a sizeable increase whilst ‘Late Payments (not missed)’ surged month on month from in May 35%, in June 22%, and then a further 18% in July. [3]

In addition, there was a spike in searches for ‘Current Payday Loan’ criteria which increased by 40%. However, the largest rise was experienced for the search term ‘Financial Associates with Adverse’ which indicates if a lender can potentially accept residential applications from an applicant who is financially associated with someone who has adverse credit. There was a huge spike in this search in May with a 75% increase month on month.

This emphasises the power of Criteria Hub’s multi-search functionality and its growing usefulness for advisers who would otherwise have to manually visit each lender to check their criteria and policies. As Criteria Hub collects detailed information directly from the lenders, you can be confident it is highly accurate.

The time-saving abilities of the platform is further bolstered by the recent integration with Mortgage Brain product sourcing solutions which provides:

  • View a multitude of lenders including mainstream lenders that have specialist lending thresholds.
  • A single process quickly provides you with a list of lenders that have the specialist products needed and shows which products are available.
  • A focused view that shows only matched schemes, and filters out non-matched products.
  • A straightforward comparison process as the most applicable products are bundled together on a like-for-like basis which makes recommendation and justification simple.
  • All product information is provided directly by the lender to give you the most accurate information available.

Previously, you may have found it hard and time-consuming to compare results requiring you to cross-reference lenders with the panel in MortgageBrain product sourcing but that is no longer the case with integration of these solutions. Furthermore, with extensive documentation you can uphold the highest levels of compliance and keep a record of your journey and justification for complete peace of mind.

To find out more about how our solutions can streamline your sourcing process or to take a 30-day free trial of Criteria Hub, contact us at



[3] Insights from the Criteria Hub platform, August 2020

Promoting your business online – Website Best Practice

In business, as in life, you don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression. That relates to every customer-facing aspect of your business, including your website, especially as physical contact is currently limited making it even more likely to be the first interaction for a potential customer considering utilising the services of your company.

Before making a commitment, such as selecting a mortgage adviser, customers will first check out a company’s website to help them make an informed decision. Imagine your customer performed a search either to discover you don’t have a website, or they arrive to find a series of unattractive, unresponsive, hard to navigate pages. Is that going to encourage them to do business with your company? Probably not.

This makes it essential to position yourself online with a strong, professional reflection of your business that assures customers you are credible and provides the motivation to want to engage further with your business. Forbes claimed that it can be more damaging to have a bad website than no website at all! [1]

First impressions count

If your website is hard to navigate and not visually appealing, the chance to show your credibility and acquire a new client will be lost. In fact, 94% of first impressions are design-related[2] and it takes just 2.6 seconds for a user’s eyes to land on the area of a website that most influences their first impression[3].

Indeed, your website does not get long to win over a customer. They will form that impression in less than a second. 50 milliseconds[4] to be exact, or the blink of an eye. And if they don’t like what they see, 89% will move on to your competitor’s website[5], so let’s look at what you can do to optimise it to help you attract and convert more prospects.


Hicks law states that the more choices a user has to make, the longer it will take them to make a decision[6]. Don’t clutter your homepage with too many products or services. Instead focus on the key messages of your company and decisions you want them to make, like following a call to action or filling out a contact form.


The old days, when all your information needed to be above the fold on your website are long gone. That led to many a homepage that was cluttered and hard to navigate. Now it is more important to use white (or negative) space between text, images, and headings to help create a natural flow to guide your users through your content and make it more digestible and accessible to them.

Clever use of whitespace and thoughtful design will give your website a more minimalist feel and make it more aesthetically pleasing to your users. In a similar way to whitespace, utilising colour contrast can help draw attention to elements on a page you want to highlight, like your logo, a call to action or important content.

Engagement and research

Design and functionality are key to gaining visitors but does your website engage users once they land on your homepage? You may find it easy to attract visitors to your site but if they can’t find relevant and useful content, they’ll move on.

For instance, users may come to your website looking for initial advice for a mortgage. If they arrive on your homepage and find they can scan relevant articles, search for best buys, or use a quick and simple mortgage calculator you will keep them on your website longer. Easy to use features and content bolsters the quality of their experience, engaging them and making them more likely to send an enquiry to generate a lead for your business.

Need help with your website?

Optimising your website might seem a little daunting, but Mortgage Brain is here to help. MortgageBrain B2C is a flexible and professional service that gives you a simple but impactful website to properly represent your company and attract visitors.

You can choose from a range of templates, add mortgage calculators or mortgage search and best buy plug-ins, edit your content to suit your needs, and retrieve leads generated from your site. We do all the hard work for you.

Our templates are designed to be eye-catching, easy to navigate, functional, responsive and engaging, so whether you want a totally new website or to freshen-up and enhance your existing one, our experts have the skills to make it work harder for your business and represent you in the best possible light.







Working around the impact

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact throughout the world with almost every industry and market affected by it. Certainly, the mortgage industry has and continues to face many challenges. Lenders, advisers, and their customers face logistical challenges as they navigate ways to work efficiently from home, without face-to-face contact and for some there will be additional financial pressures.

Mortgage holidays

With normal working practices thrown into disarray and businesses losing large percentages of their income, the knock-on effect meant many homeowners could be faced with financial hardship. To help support borrowers, the government announced that mortgage lenders would offer three-month payment holidays to try and ease the burden and this has subsequently now been extended[1]. It is estimated that almost one-in-five UK mortgage holders have now been granted a payment holiday, which equates to around 2M Britons[2].

In response to the continued financial challenges faced by many consumers, a series of proposals have been developed to help borrowers who are continuing to struggle with mortgage repayments[3] including:

  • Granting those who have not yet taken a payment holiday until 31st October 2020 to apply
  • Enabling borrowers coming to the end of a payment holiday, but still in need of support, to request another three-month payment holiday
  • Stating that at the end of the payment holiday lenders should contact borrowers to agree whether to spread the cost of missed payments over the remaining mortgage term or to extend the term
  • Extending the ban on repossession of houses until 31st October 2020
  • Clarifying that payments missed through payment holidays or partial holidays will not affect a borrower’s credit score

Mortgage products almost halved

COVID-19 also heavily impacted the UK housing market. In the middle of March, mortgage lenders were forced to review their offerings due to the operational obstacles that the lockdown imposed, including the requirement to continue servicing and supporting existing customers, the process of mass migrating day-to-day operations to a home based set up, and the inability to obtain physical valuations. The consequences of these factors resulted in numerous product withdrawals or amendments alongside multiple policy and criteria changes. Meanwhile, buyers and sellers were urged not to move or hold viewings during the lockdown[4].

Recent Mortgage Brain data (as of 27 May) shows that when compared to pre-pandemic levels, the number of mortgage products available is 42.4% lower than the nine-week average to 16th March[5]. However, it is not all bad news, there is cause for cautious optimism as that figure appeared to bottom out during the week ending 12th April and the last five weeks have shown a steady rise in the number of products, resulting in a 13.8% (8,450) increase on the lowest level4.

Technology at the forefront

For many of the problems the pandemic has given rise to, technology frequently provides an answer. With the battle against Coronavirus demanding everyone observes social distancing, while there was a boom in remortgages, the housing purchase market slowed[6], with the knock-on effect being felt by the mortgage industry. But out of these problems, could we have found different ways of working that change our lives for the better?

Times like these bring about radical innovations and new solutions to tackle these obstacles. If you’re trying to buy a house, a viewing in person was not allowed during the lockdown. Now, although possible again, many buyers and agents may be sceptical about the safety of viewing in person. This has given rise to virtual viewings as there is no need keep to the two-metre rule but moreover it provides a widely accessible experience that buyers and agents can perform from the safety of their own homes whilst reaching a larger audience than ever, without the constraints of having to align the scheduling of the seller, buyer and agent[7]. This innovation appears to have surpassed the old way of working with a more convenient and efficient process, and with the addition of drone technology, exteriors of larger properties can be impressively showcased too. Perhaps this could become a part of the new normal?

Another heavily impacted activity has been the hosting of in-person events with countless roadshows, seminars, exhibitions and conferences having to be cancelled as venues close with little idea of when they may reopen. Once again, technology has been leveraged to provide a substitute through online events. Whilst you can’t pick up your goodie bag full of handy gadgets or enjoy a smorgasbord of snacks, think of the stress, travel time, and cost negated by not having to make travel and hotel arrangements. Not to mention the positive effect on your carbon footprint. Could virtual events also become a part of everyday business life after lockdown?

Support for the market

At a day-to-day level, innovation within technology itself has also provided a channel of support with companies like Zoom and Google constantly and rapidly evolving their offerings to meet the new needs of a digitally expectant world.

Within the mortgage industry it is a similar situation. Rapid changes to products available, policy and lenders’ criteria have proved challenging to keep track of due to the number of channels providing information and the constant nature of the changes. To aide this, several support hubs emerged in the market offering support to various groups. However, in April, Mortgage Brain delivered a new breed of support hub that took a holistic view of the market and consolidated everything in one place to provide a single source of truth and help combat the information overload.

Developed to support advisers and lenders alike during these challenging times, the COVID-19 Support Hub was made available on Criteria Hub and relays the truth about the pandemic’s impact on the industry across policy, product and news as well as containing easily accessible resources including:

  • Lenders Impact Page allowing you to access regularly updated information populated direct from the lenders themselves, and
  • COVID-19 News Portal displaying criteria, product, and industry news as it is released

Mortgage Brain made its COVID-19 Support Hub available to everyone by hosting it publicly to ensure all advisers had access to the updates they needed to be able to monitor the rapidly evolving marketplace. Taking it a step further, Mortgage Brain also made the Criteria Hub platform free to registered users for at least 90 days (*offer ended 31 Jul 2020) so they could further filter through the noise that the Coronavirus outbreak brought.

Innovation at the core

Mortgage Brain has long been a mortgage technology expert and market leader, and COVID-19 has proved the value of its innovative solutions through its ability to keep advisers working efficiently, from wherever they find themselves.

Inevitably, the need to work from home and the lack of face-to-face meetings with clients has created its own challenges. But Mortgage Brain solutions like The Key with its Client Portal, make  communication with clients secure, quick, and simple through encrypted online messaging. Meanwhile, its case tracking functionality means both adviser and client know exactly how a case is progressing 24/7.

The latest version of The Key includes new remortgage review functionality which can monitor when a mortgage rate is due for review, suggest potential replacement products complete with savings, and automatically email a customer and urge them to contact their adviser.

Whilst the purchase market slowly starts to move, ConveyancingBrain offers a way to take advantage of the surge in demand for remortgages which currently accounts for 65% of market activity[8]. It’s quick and simple to send a cashback or fixed fee remortgage to earn referral fees of up to £300 and the case tracking functionality within ConveyancingBrain means customers can always see how their case is progressing.

How long will COVID-19’s impact on our market last? No one really knows. And who is to say what the new normal will be for the industry, but the pandemic has undoubtedly served as a catalyst for innovation and digitalisation, the impacts of which will revolutionise the way we all work. To find out more about Mortgage Brain’s suite of powerful solutions that together offer a seamless end-to-end journey from sourcing through to conveyancing, email

*The 90-day trial offer ran from 20th April – 30 July 2020 and is no longer available









A single source for truth

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced all of us to rethink the way we do business, bringing technology to the forefront as vast amounts of the UK workforce migrates to working from home.

This has undeniably brought challenges across financial services, notably within the mortgage industry for lenders, for you, and your customers, as the shape of the mortgage industry continues to change almost daily.

Some of the most rapidly evolving changes have occurred as a result of mortgage lenders reviewing their product ranges and policies for new and existing customers alike, mainly due to operational constraints and to support the government’s payment holiday scheme. It is now reported that 1 in 7 mortgage holders in the UK have requested a payment holiday[1].

On 14th April Mortgage Brain reported the number of products available were down by 7,179, 49.1% lower than the nine-week average to 16th March.

Supporting simplicity

Keeping up to date with the frequency and complexity of the changes poses new challenges for your business including how to best obtain timely, accurate information, and understand how these rapid changes are impacting your business and your clients. Particularly as an overwhelming amount of information is posted across a multitude of channels by numerous sources.

As mortgage technology experts, at Mortgage Brain, we take pride in the accuracy, timeliness and relevancy of the information we publish and have available within our sourcing and criteria solutions. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic we have enhanced our efforts to provide access to accurate and relevant information by allowing users of our offline sourcing product to access the online version for free for at least 90 days. And, we extended this offer to Criteria Hub for new users*, while also inviting lenders to update their policies on the platform in real-time.

During these challenging times, we have also acted upon customer feedback to provide additional support through a platform to relay the truth of COVID-19’s impact on the industry across policy, product, and news, all from one source. With this in mind, on 20th April, we proudly announced the launch of a newly developed, bespoke solution in the form of the COVID-19 Support Hub on Criteria Hub.

Introducing our COVID-19 Support Hub on Criteria Hub

Our dedicated support hub contains easily accessible resources including:

  • Lenders Impact Page allowing you to access regularly updated information populated direct from the lenders themselves; and
  • COVID-19 News Portal displaying criteria, product, and industry news as it is released

The platform is open to everyone and provides a single source for mortgage industry updates at this time of uncertainty. However, fully registered Criteria Hub customers can also benefit from access to specific policy notes directly from lenders on the page, and from within Criteria Hub itself, to assist with customer advice at a time when clarity is more important than ever.

Criteria Hub remains free for at least 90 days to new users, enabling all advisers to take advantage of its latest features (**offer ended 31 July 2020). Register today, and equip yourself with the knowledge to support your clients during these difficult times by visiting the Criteria Hub Support Hub or emailing

Any existing customers that would like to have a demonstration of the new functionality can email to arrange a free online session.

* Please allow two working days to process applications

**The 90-day trial offer ran from 20th April – 30 July 2020 and is no longer available


Source of Funds – Fighting the fraudsters

Mortgage Advisers face a balancing act when it comes to conveyancing. They want the process to be as smooth as possible for their clients so that latter enjoys a good customer experience (especially if they recommended the Solicitors). However, proving the source of funds, can become a sticking point.

Solicitors need to adhere to strict rules regarding money laundering and proving source of funds, and if the information isn’t readily available and clear, it can slow down a purchase for anyone.  

A failure to follow the rules could mean huge fines. And there’s a good reason for that. Money laundering and fraud is costly for UK businesses, citizens and the government. Costly to the tune of more than £100 billion a year, according to the National Crime Agency (NCA).

Take the case of Maria Michaela. She conned banks out of £13 million until she was arrested in January 2012. How did she do it? She would create a false identity, submit an offer for a house that was over the market value, then default on the mortgage. She did this multiple times.

Also, more recently in January 2020, the NCA took out a civil recovery order for £120,000 which was allegedly linked to Ulster loyalist paramilitary group, the UDA, in South East Antrim. Properties in this area were alleged by the NCA to have been bought with illegal proceeds such as mortgage fraud and money laundering.

Where there’s money, criminals and fraudsters will see an opportunity. So the mortgage industry is an obvious target. Research from fraud prevention service Cifas and WPI Economics in 2019 showed that in the first six months of that year mortgage application fraud by production of false documents rose by 14%. During the same period fraud by submitting altered documents rose by 32%.

Providing the proof

So, proving source of funds is a necessary burden for anyone purchasing a house and is a requirement by Solicitors in every case, in order to combat the bad boys and girls. Without proof of source, Solicitors can’t proceed and a purchase can grind to a halt.

Thankfully, there is a quick, convenient and secure way of getting this information to your Solicitor if you are using ConveyancingBrain. Just make sure that the documents are uploaded through the client’s account and there is no chance of vital documents getting lost in the post.

Imagine it, the crawl of snail mail that can take several days versus instant digital upload in seconds. And with no documents going missing. No more frustrating delays for anyone, just a nice smooth process that will help the Adviser receive more recommendations and more business. All whilst everyone is doing their bit to curb the fraudsters’ opportunity for criminal activity.

So, to help things along, all house purchasers need to understand (hopefully helped by their Adviser) that they can use any of the following to prove the source of their funds:

  • Savings – bank statements showing an accumulation of funds over the last six months.
  • Pension – a copy of a pension release document and a bank statement showing receipt from the pension company.
  • Sale of shares – a copy of the share release schedule and a copy of a bank statement showing money received from shares.
  • Sale of property – copy of a completion statement and copy of a bank statement showing money received from a Solicitor following the sale.
  • Inheritance – copy of a letter from executors stating the amount inherited and a bank statement showing the money being received.
  • Dividends from a UK company – copy of a divided certificate, a copy of the company’s accounts and a bank statement showing the money being received.
  • A Gift – a letter is required from the person making the gift. They will also need to prove the source of the funds.

And don’t forget, three-way communication between an Adviser, the client and the chosen Solicitor with ConveyancingBrain, creates a useful audit trail, saving time and reducing stress.

Sound interesting? Speak to us today on 0371 200 0655 or email

The changing shape of the UK mortgage market

What’s in store for the UK mortgage market in 2020? By the end of 2019, there was a boost in the number of buyers, sellers and house prices. With this optimistic end to the last decade, will this mean a bright future for the changing shape of the mortgage market?

Buy-to-let costs – high or low?

According to our latest BTL quarterly analysis from December 2019, there have been significant cost reductions over a three month period. Our CEO, Mark Lofthouse commented ‘there has been a continuous reduction in rates resulting in substantial price reductions particularly for five-year fixed rate products.’ But what does this mean for 2020?

Well, with the right specialist advice and support from brokers, landlords will be able to make the most of low rates in buy-to-let costs in 2020 and remain confident that they are getting the best mortgage to suit their needs.

BTL tenant demand to soar

Even in the wake of 2019’s general election and the ongoing progress in relation to Brexit, there appears to be a market lift in the BTL demand. Based on a survey by the Royal Institute for Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the number of buyer enquiries has drastically risen in January.

Based on figures from this survey, the data shows that:

  • Enquiries rose to a net balance +23% from the previous month’s +19%
  • Sales agreed gained an increase to +21% net balance.

The question is, how might these figures develop towards the end of the quarter and further into 2020?

Residential mortgages at a historic low

Based on our latest product data analysis, the UK mortgage market has seen some big cost reductions over 2019, particularly over the last five years. Based on this data, Mark Lofthouse also commented, ‘With mortgage costs down by up to 17.8% compared to January 2015, there are savings across the board that advisers are able to offer their customers. Mortgage costs remain at historic lows and forecasters are predicting that this will continue into 2020.’

Rising mortgage lending

It may come as no surprise that mortgage lending supports over 70% of housing transactions. One figure which may come as a surprise is that, according to UK Finance and Hometrack, gross mortgage lending has doubled to £268 billion between 2010 and 2020. Thanks to house price growth and rising sales, the new decade could see a continued rise in mortgage lending.

Increasing confidence

With so much to be positive about, one could argue a growing confidence in the mortgage industry during 2020. According to IMLA (Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association), 93% of mortgage intermediaries were confident about the outlook for 2020. So when it comes to the changing shape of the UK mortgage market, we should remain optimistic.

If you’re looking to make your 2020 as successful as possible whether it be through mortgage product or criteria or affordability sourcing, multi-Lender mortgage submission or conveyancing referrals, get in touch with us today on or have a look at our plans to transform mortgage sourcing in 2020 here.

Love Your Customer campaign: sharing the love

February may be a short month but we know it’s going to be a big one!  We’re bringing back our favourite campaign – ‘Love Your Customer’ from last year, tying in closely with Valentine’s Day and celebrating the loyalty of our customers.

To get involved and understand more about what this fantastic campaign entails, read on and find out how we’re sharing our love customer loyalty.

The ‘Love Your Customer’ Charity Competition

Firstly, we will be running a competition from 3-13th February at 11:59 pm and the prize draw winner will be picked at random and announced on 14th February, Valentine’s Day!

You can take part in the prize draw by simply answering one multiple choice question. Then you will be automatically entered into a prize draw for £50 worth of Amazon or M&S vouchers.

With every entry made, Mortgage Brain will donate £5 to the winners’ charity of choice. The more people that take part the more money the charity receives. Don’t be afraid to share this with colleagues and friends and help spread the love.

On social media, we will be sharing the #LoveYourCustomer messages and promoting customers to share and take part in the competition to donate more money to charity. Our sales team will be visiting clients across the country throughout the month and gifting them with Thornton’s chocolates to say thank you for choosing Mortgage Brain. Check out all the activity using #LoveYourCustomer on Twitter and LinkedIn.

What more can you do for your customers?

It’s an important aspect of our culture to do the most that we can for customers. It’s important to us that you are aware of how you can use our software to support your customers compliantly, efficiently and transparently. Many of our solutions are aimed at our customer’s customer. For example, you can get the best results and inspire increased loyalty by using The Key’s Client Portal.

Customising the Client Portal to match your branding creates a professional look and feel, and will give not only an excellent first impression but a lasting impression too. Your customers want to know that they’re working with someone professional and reputable.

Using the Client Portal properly can save you up to an hour per case – and, with the average adviser completing six cases per week, that’s almost a whole day you’re saving!

It’s competitive out there, but with the right tools and by showing how much you care, you will always provide a better customer experience that you can be proud of. Whether you’re new to Mortgage Brain or a long-term customer, you all deserve a thank you because sharing is caring.

Enter our charity competition