Little Known Facts About Electronic Trading

Although electronic trading was greeted by brokers unenthusiastically upon its launch in 2003, it has since become one of the cornerstones of the mortgage industry. The simple idea, which began with our launch of Mortgage Trading Exchange (MTE), provided a way of delivering mortgage agreements in principle (AIPs), and processing applications seamlessly between brokers and lenders.

So, what’s happened since then? We thought we’d run down some facts you may not know about electronic trading, and how brokers have taken advantage of this fantastic weapon in their armoury.

Transactions have sky-rocketed
In the first year, around 150 transactions each week were being processed using MTE. Within a couple of years, this had changed to 2,500 weekly transactions, and now, there are between 4,000 and 5,000 mortgage transactions being completed via MTE – the total figure for electronic transactions via our system stands at over two million.

The mortgage sales process continues to be supported
Although some intermediaries were sceptical about it at first, electronic trading is actually designed to support brokers in completing the advice and sales process in, or away from, their office. It offers you offline access to lenders AIPs and full application forms, meaning you only need to go online to submit applications to supporting lenders.

It offers direct access to lenders
Systems such as MTE ensure that brokers can use lenders’ own application forms alongside the platform’s own generic ones. AIPs and applications sent using MTE also go direct to the lenders, without the need to pass through any other portal. It’s just like using the lender’s service, but with more flexibility.

The systems are compliant
Another worry about electronic trading upon its introduction to the industry was whether they would cope with the tough demands and requirements from the FSA/FCA. Fast forward to the future, and the systems have more than stood the test of time with regards to how compliant they are. They have faced hurdles such as MDay and the Mortgage Market Review and surfaced at the other end unscathed.

Flexibility is one of its main strengths
Electronic trading systems allow brokers to work offline and away from the internet. This means that if they client doesn’t have all the information to hand when the mortgage application is being filled out, the application can be stored and accessed at a later date. Most systems will also work with more than one sourcing system, or as a stand-alone application, to offer the broker more choice.

Electronic trading makes brokers faster
Short on time or under pressure? You’re not alone. Many intermediaries are facing the same problems; from other brokers, the internet, or customers with apps. The main problem is clear: competition is fierce, and in order to be ahead of the game, you need to be quick off the mark. Electronic trading can get you responses in less than a minute, and faster responses mean happier clients, more sales and greater efficiency.

Easy re-sending and tracking
Before electronic trading, having a client declined meant having to start an application from the very beginning in order to submit the same application to another lender. With systems like MTE, you can re-use data from a declined application and or AIP, saving you plenty of time and meaning you don’t have to fill out the same information repeatedly.

There are big names behind electronic trading
From its very beginning, electronic trading has had the support by many of the big names in banking. For example, our MTE system is jointly owned by Lloyds Banking Group, Nationwide Building Society, RBS, Virgin Money, Barclays and Santander – not only does this give you peace of mind that the system is safe and secure, it allows you to trade electronically with committed lenders who account for over 65% of mortgages provided by intermediaries.

Already using MTE? Then we’re sure you’ll be familiar with all the fantastic benefits an electronic trading system can offer you.

If this blog has made you think a little more about electronic trading, then you can start using MTE for free today. Simply download the system here, register your details, download your cookie/token, and submit your application forms. It’s as quick as that!

Could the mortgage market undergo Uber-ification?

No one has yet invented the mortgage industry silver bullet; the idea that could transform the industry as we know it. But as our CEO Mark Lofthouse explains, it may be somewhere on the horizon, and we must be prepared for it.

Want a taxi? Not a problem.

Go onto the street and hail one, or book one over the phone. Simple and straightforward. It’s always been done that way, always will be. But in 2011, two men launched the Uber app, which allowed anyone with a smartphone to make a trip request and have the cab closest to them make the pick-up. Five years on and Bloomberg estimated the company’s revenues to be around $5.5 billion dollars.

Airbnb is another strong example of how an idea can come out of nowhere and change an industry forever. No matter how inconceivable an idea, we must remember that the possibility exists that someone, somewhere could come up with it at any time.

uber

But why can it happen?

One of the reasons is that no one ‘owns’ the taxi space. In the same way that no one ‘owns’ the mortgage space. As radical as it sounds, anyone is free to come in and be a ‘disruptor’, and if people like the idea then it could change the rules and irrevocably alter the way mortgages are sold!

The mortgage industry is rarely at the front of the queue for innovation. Apps, for example, were well established in other sectors before arriving in the mortgage market. ‘Robo advice’, however you interpret it, is commonplace in areas such as car and home insurance and it’s now in its early stages for mortgages.

So what’s the chance that our industry will be altered?

No one has yet come up with an idea that could transform our industry, and the idea that someone could may not seem all that attractive. But we shouldn’t close our minds to them or discount the idea that someone, somewhere, could be working on something radical.

Although, we do have to ask ourselves: what would it be? Would it allow consumers to have mortgages that are tailor made? Mortgages that automatically change whenever a new and more desirable product appears? Maybe even a completely new way of buying a house that makes mortgages redundant at a stroke?

They are ideas which may not seem feasible, but in 2017 and beyond they could well become reality.

Ideas don’t always make you an overnight success

It is worth noting that Techcrunch.com reports that Uber’s losses are expected to hit $3 billion in 2017, Airbnb has had it run ins with authority, and there will always be plenty of people willing and able to piggy back on the success of early adopters. But the tantalising possibility remains.

So what can the industry do about it?

It’s hard to fight against something that doesn’t exist and that no one knows anything about, so the best defence is to make the industry as future proof as possible. This means moving with the tech times and offering as high a level of professionalism as possible. As the technology and service improves, so the window for uber-ification is reduced.

In the meantime, keep watching the skies.

Online Chat

The latter half of this year saw us enhance our customer support when we officially launched our online chat service for advisers.

Online chat provides a quick, free-of-charge way to talk to one of our Customer Services team, who are on hand to answer questions almost instantly. It means advisers have an extra way in which to contact us for support, which may on occasion suit them better than calling our existing customer services phone line.
Since its launch in June, our online chat system has helped over 1,480 advisers, and the numbers using the service appear to be increasing each month.

What does online chat offer?
Our online chat facility enables advisers to contact us for free via our website with any questions they may have, or for any assistance they require.

Our friendly Customer Services team help with a myriad of queries, from help with forgotten log in details, sales enquires, and any questions advisers might have with regards to all of our Mortgage Brain systems.

When is the service available?

Online chat is available during our normal Customer Services working hours, and from 10.00am on a Wednesday morning to allow for training.

When you visit our website, after a few seconds the online chat box will pop up at the bottom of your screen. Or you can initiate a chat yourself, by clicking on the top of the box with the ‘Can we help?’ button, appearing in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen.

Advisers are able to email themselves a transcript of their chat, ensuring that they have all details they need on file should they require similar assistance in the future.

Why did we decide to offer this service?
In a world where everything is instant, we want to ensure that we provide a service which is in keeping with the fast-paced environment we operate within.

The online chat facility is yet another way in which our customers can get in touch with us. It both complements and enhances our traditional helpline, and the online support in terms of guides and videos already available via our website.

Mark Lofthouse, our CEO, states: “The new online chat facility is part of Mortgage Brain’s proactive commitment to supporting advisers and providing excellent customer service.”

“I’m delighted that those who have already used the service have found it useful and continue to use it as an alternative to the traditional telephone service when it suits them better.”

To use our online chat service, please visit our website www.mortgage-brain.co.uk and let us help you!