7 companies changing the UK mortgage landscape
The financial services industry has faced an enormous amount of disruption in recent years. We’ve seen significant changes everywhere from payments to current accounts and investments accounts to modern credit products.
The one area that feels sorely lacking is one of the fundamentals of retail financial services. I am, of course, talking about mortgages. So: let’s look at digital offerings in the mortgage industry and how they serve their users.
Mortgage brokers and market aggregators
The available offerings are similar to other online aggregators for various financial products, with a pretty standardised UX. The offering allows you to quickly compare multiple providers for free.
Habito is one of the most popular digital offerings in the industry. It helps the user find the best deals and acts as a broker on their behalf. The offering is fully digital and free to use. Habito’s clear offering helps users to understand which mortgage is best for them and how to secure it through its website. The UX is based on a standard ‘find the best for you and book through our site’ model, but the look and feel of the website gives users a more memorable experience compared to traditional banking websites.
Trussle is another web-only mortgage advice aggregator that supports users in identifying and comparing available deals. It’s aimed at either first-time mortgage takers or users looking to remortgage. Trussle’s website experience is pretty basic. It diverts to a phone-based offering by encouraging users to arrange a ‘call back’. The offering is digitised but not fully digital as of yet.
Mojo Mortgages is a web-first mortgage provider that offers a cleaner experience than some of its competitors. Like Habito and Trussle the offering is free and Mojo offers both mortgage and remortgage products. Mojo has a clean and modern UX to encourage users to sign up and provide their information before it shares their mortgage recommendations.
These offerings are mostly aimed at buy-to-let mortgage takers and act as an investment vehicle for people that want to make a property-backed investment with reduced risk.
Landbay is a digital offering aimed at buy-to-let and portfolio landlords. It’s a P2P platform that allows both individuals and companies to invest in real estate. A digitised offering that leverages the power of P2P, Landbay nonetheless encourages users to get in touch by email or telephone. It’s not quite truly digital.
LendInvest is focused on buy-to-let, bridging loans or investment management for mortgage takers. It also offers the opportunity for both individuals and institutions to invest in property-backed loans. Similar to Landbay, LendInvest is a digitised P2P service that pushes the user away from the website and into contacting the company via email or telephone.
The move from brick and mortar to online has affected the mortgage industry but only a handful of offerings have followed suit. Their business models and services have remained similar.
The move from brick and mortar to online has affected the mortgage industry but only a handful of offerings have followed suit.
Molo is a digital buy-to-let mortgage provider focused on speed and simplicity. It emphasises honest and consistent communication and direct and simplified language. Molo offers an E2E online mortgage application closer to truly digital than a lot of its competitors. All processes are handled digitally.
The UK has one of the highest rates of penetration for challenger banks. Sadly, very few are mortgage-focused. It’s a logical next step for some of the established neobanks and it’ll be interesting to see how it plays out.
Atom is one of the first UK neobanks and one that offers mortgages to first-time buyers and remortgaging. It’s an app-based bank and the only product in the list that is offered via mobile and not web.
Overall, the mortgage industry looks like how the everyday banking one (current accounts, credit cards and savings accounts) looked back in 2015. The moves towards digital channels are not quite enough to be labelled disruption. It’s expected that mortgages will be disrupted in the same way as everyday banking in the coming years. The target age group for mortgages increasingly consists of millennials and that means the leading providers need flexibility, enhanced UX and CSR. Any offering with a mix of those will be in a good position to disrupt the mortgage industry and get ahead!