Sarah Davidson

August 18, 2014

Gemma Harle is managing director of TenetLime


A conversation with my 23-year old son has highlighted an interesting question: when will mortgage applications become fully automated?

He was puzzled why he couldn’t do everything online and bemoaned the fact that he had to actually talk to someone as part of the application and approval process.

Which made me wonder how the mortgage market will adapt to meet the needs of his new generation?

In the UK, we are not alone in preserving an insistence on human contact and ‘hard copy’ printed media – at some part of the chain.

But is that deterring potential first time buyers from entering the mortgage market? Especially bearing in mind the ‘stigma’ of renting has all but disappeared and it is not regarded as a temporary measure any more.

Regulation must take some of the blame for hindering development, but is technology keeping pace?

We live in an internet age, with banking in particular witnessing a virtually complete online migration.

Bank statements and payslips are all delivered electronically nowadays – yet lenders still insist on various evidential elements being verified by paperwork and across-the-desk consultations.

Clearly, the issue of fraud prevention remains an issue for them and there are growing concerns around the creeping development of a ‘big data’ environment, with an increasing loss of control over our personal financial confidentiality.

But we only have to look to Sweden to see how it can work. There, banks can have direct access to an applicant’s relevant financial information. Should we be looking to follow suit?



Sign up to our daily email