Steve Carruthers, Newcastle’s head of mortgage distribution, has left the society to join IRESS as principal mortgage consultant.
He will support the company’s growth ambitions as it continues to meet demand for its MSO platform in the UK.
Lenders are investing in mortgage hub technology, application programming interfaces (APIs) and open banking functionality to increase efficiency, cut costs from the mortgage sales process and provide better, more engaging end consumer experiences.
Carruthers is highly respected in the intermediary sector and brings over 30 years’ experience to the role, with stints at Royal Bank of Scotland, Aldermore Bank as head of intermediary sales and most recently Newcastle as head of mortgage distribution (intermediary and direct).
He said: “The mortgage market continues to see change across the value chain, with lenders of all shapes and sizes investing in technology to improve processes for intermediaries and consumers as well as internal users.
“We are seeing the market shift away from stand-alone systems to a more connected and automated mortgage ecosystem. Greater integration between lenders, intermediaries and other third parties will increase efficiency, enabling the market to serve more people, reduce risk, remove friction and provide better outcomes for consumers.”
The UK intermediary market has seen brokers implementing better connected CRM models and utilising API connections, allowing single customer data entry for a more efficient mortgage journey.
Carruthers added: “Increasingly lenders, distributors and key stakeholders in the house buying process are harnessing the advantages of new and existing technologies, delivering better and more efficient experiences to meet consumer expectations.
“In a highly competitive price-led market the delivery of an efficient and world class customer experience is essential for brokers and their clients. Lenders and their distributor partners will benefit and maintain positive momentum where they embrace and take advantage of new and improved technologies.”
According to Carruthers the drivers for both lenders and distributors are closely aligned – wanting to offer greater flexibility, transparency, certainty and choice.
He said: “Both want to streamline the mortgage process to make it more engaging for customers. And both are aware that working together, through technology, is the key to transforming the industry.
“With more than one in four mortgages being processed through IRESS technology I saw a real opportunity to drive change and make a valuable contribution to the mortgage sector.
“IRESS has the knowledge, experience, industry relationships, products and services to make a really positive difference and I wanted to be an integral part of this transformational capability.”
Mark Dyason, managing director at Edinburgh Mortgage Advice, said: “This is excellent news for IRESS and unfortunately a sad loss for Newcastle.
“Steve has a deep understanding of both distributor and lender challenges and the benefits to be gained from technology in improving both the customer and broker journeys.”
And he added: “There is a challenge in creating efficiencies but I’m sure Steve can drive the much needed change to the overall mortgage process.”
Paul Thornton, executive general manager, lending at IRESS, said: “We’re thrilled to have someone of Steve’s calibre onboard. He is a recognised thought leader and has built up a huge amount of relevant experience working with lenders and distributors.
“He’s naturally aware of the challenges both parties face, and the opportunities available by working collaboratively. He’s going to be a great asset to IRESS as we continue to work with the industry to drive change that benefits all participants and consumers.”
Carruthers’ predecessor Henry Woodcock retired last year after more than a decade at IRESS.