The Mortgage Trading Exchange has stolen a march on Origo, by opening its electronic trading standards to enable them to integrate with other trading platforms.
In a move which it claims could save the industry over £25m, MTE says 26 lenders - including Accord Mortgages, Royal Bank of Scotland, Alliance & Leicester, GMAC, Scottish Widows Bank and Halifax - as well as two packagers have already implemented systems capable of receiving and responding to keyfacts illustration (Kfi) requests as well as agreements in principle and accepting application forms using its electronic trading standards.
The trading platform which owns Mortgage Brain, is also thought to be in discussion with around 15 other lenders about integrating their point of sale (POS) systems with its trading platform, and new lender edeus and Platform are thought to be among them.
Currently, each lender KFI request, AIP and application form uses an XML format tailored to meet each lender’s requirements but MTE says lenders will now be able to accept the same XML format from other sources which will then be processed by the lender’s back office in the same way as at present.
Intermediaries who have registered with MTE will also be able to use the same account number and password with other lender POS and trading platform services - putting MTE in direct competition with attempts by Origo to see its Unipass authentication system adopted within the mortgage industry.
There is also a suite of standard messages to improve communication between intermediaries and lenders which have been incorporated into the MTE system which can be used with other platforms which MTE says will help provide consistency within the industry.
And MTE is also providing a case tracking service from submission to completion, using standard message formats.
Mark Lofthouse, chief executive at the Mortgage Trading Exchange, says: “A number of lenders approached us as they wanted to reuse their standard ‘MTE gateway’ with other services and we are pleased to be able to make this available.
“The industry savings are huge when compared to developing and implementing individual bespoke gateways. Based on 50 lender implementations, with an estimated initial project cost of £200,000 and £60,000 per year to maintain this conservatively, saves £25m over five years for lenders alone. Substantial introducer savings increase this figure further.”
Lofthouse claims MTE is not aligning itself in competition with Origo, which is in talks with morgage lenders over the adoption of common XML standards throughout the industry - currently different lenders use different XML standards - and also the adoption of the UNIPASS authentication system for use by intermediaries.
But MTE's claim - suggesting over 40,000 unique intermediary users will now be able to use the same user name and password in their dealings with as many as 40 lenders within the mortgage industry - could come as a blow to Origo's plans for the adoption of Unipass.
Back in April, Origo said feedback received from the mortgage industry had so far resulted in demand for standards to underpin a range of business processes, including:
procuration fee reconciliation,
and to also consider how to address the issue of multiple passwords for extranets.
Lofthouse is unrepentant about going head to head with Origo, arguing it should not be trying to "push a product" on the mortgage industry.
"We are not looking for a battle with Origo. We are just saying people have already invested a lot of money developing systems with us, so let's use what we have already got," he adds.
Paul Pettitt, managing director at Origo, has responded in a statement which says: "The lenders and intermediaries on the Mortgages Joint Forum, of which this includes 20 lenders, have recently affirmed the need for generic standards for the marketplace. They have requested this so it is not something Origo is delivering without demand. Origo is working with the Joint Forum and key suppliers in the industry to ensure standards are delivered and to the specific requirements of the market place.
"Origo has analysed the market in great detail and there are lots of links between different parties in completing a mortgage, and standards will enable better integration and a streamlined transfer of data between these parties, and not just for what the Mortgage Trading Exchange can give to its customers.
"Origo is looking forward to working with the Mortgage Trading Exchange and other suppliers in the market place. Lenders and intermediaries have confirmed this will be of benefit to them and want to see this happening."
If you have any comments you would like to add to this story or would like to speak to its author about a similar subject, telephone Matthew West on 020 7484 9893 or email [email protected].IFAonline
To promote 'long-term investment'
Switching 'hard and expensive'
Smaller funds still packing a punch
To drive progress