Electronic trading could save mortgage industry €20m

6 Mar 2008

A move to a single electronic trading platform from the current predominantly paper-based systems could save Irish mortgage providers over €20m a year, an IT firm claimed today.

A survey of the top 10 mortgage providers in Ireland by Mortgage Brain revealed the majority of broker-lender transactions are currently still paper-based.

Over the coming years, these transactions are expected to go electronic as lenders and brokers seek to streamline the lender approval process and reduce the amount of paperwork involved.

“The mortgage application and approval system is currently drowning in paper and is very inefficient as a result,” said Michael Dowling, PRO for the Independent Mortgage Advisors’ Federation (IMAF).

“What we need is a single IT system to do business with all our lenders, not a different proprietary system for each lender.”

Such a move, says Michael Quinn of Mortgage Brain Ireland “could save the Irish mortgage industry over €20m and provide a very healthy return on investment.”

Mortgage Brain’s electronic trading platform, Mortgage Trading Exchange (MTE), provides a single point of integration for all lender IT platforms.

Quinn says the savings stem from the fact that lenders need only integrate MTE once to their back office, rather than having to build and maintain multiple bridges to the systems of different broking firms.

Mortgage Brain is already used by over 350 broker companies in Ireland to manage mortgage transactions and is endorsed by the two largest mortgage broker groups in the country, IMAF and the Professional Insurance Brokers’ Association (PIBA).

The system is also is well established in the UK, where it has become the standard e-trading system between brokers and lenders.

Lenders representing 80pc of all mortgage transactions in the UK are now using MTE and thousands of mortgage intermediaries use it every day to submit online mortgage applications and agreements in principle (AIPs) direct to lenders.

“In the UK many lenders and large brokers are now ‘unplugging’ proprietary links and going for a single integration with MTE,” said Mark Lofthouse, CEO of Mortgage Brain UK.

“The Irish mortgage industry is now in a position to leverage these standards and make substantial savings by adopting MTE as a single point of integration,” Lofthouse added.

By John Kennedy