CasePRO: imperative brokers automate their admin

CasePRO, a case management system provider, is looking to bring affordable processing technology to the market. It believes that regardless of size, mortgage brokers, packagers and lenders need to put technology at the heart of their businesses.

CasePRO says its research indicates that up to 50% of mortgage brokerages still rely on manual record keeping in one form or other and that many others have yet to introduce an end to end solution, which is less reliant on human intervention, instead still relying on mismatched or outdated spreadsheet software programs.

Chris Waite, managing director of CasePRO, said: “The administrative burden on all financial services businesses continues to grow. The cost of compliance alone in terms of time and effort to stay ahead of the need for accurate and available reporting, makes it imperative that every business, whether mortgage or investment based, should be looking to automate its administrative processes. The time when manual file keeping was sufficient is past. The demand on businesses to free up time for new business acquisition as well as ensuring that service levels are maintained and records are instantly available for compliance scrutiny means that all businesses should be investing in a technology answer.”

He added: “The main barrier is the perception that the cost will be prohibitive and yet in reality the cost for a bespoke system set up to the specifications of the individual business is actually very low and that is without factoring in the savings in terms of man hours saved not having to do everything manually.”

Orbiter unveils mortgage and secured loan comparison service

Orbiter, the new online sourcing and compliance service from Orbiter Group, is to enable advisers to compare mortgages and secured loans.

Pete Thomson, sales and marketing director at Orbiter Group, said: “Advisers are used to being able to source mortgages and secured loans, but to be able to compare them to each other is something we are sure is going to prove hugely popular with advisers in the current market. This is yet another example of a benefit Orbiter can offer the market as a result of being built using the most up to date technology available.”

Wayne Lee, from north-west based broker Alpha Money, said: “Mortgages have been incredibly difficult to obtain for many clients after the turmoil in the mortgage market, and this had led to secured loans becoming an increasingly popular option. An online facility that enables mortgages and secured loans to be directly compared is a really useful feature of the Orbiter system and something that can be used very effectively in face to face discussions with clients.”

This is the latest in a series of announcements from Orbiter including its ability to offer tranche management facilities to lenders and compliance monitoring to networks. Orbiter has also announced it will include the option for advisers to include non-intermediary products when sourcing deals for clients.

Target ties up LV= managed services deal

Target Group has secured a contract to manage information systems for LV=. The three-year deal will see the Cardiff-based software and processes provider take control of the data management of LV=’s existing loan operation.

Target will manage the infrastructure that LV= uses for processing, account management, arrears management, and securitisation.

LV= and Target have worked together since 1990, with Target providing a fully managed service from March 2008.

Lisa Mundy, head of personal loans at LV=, said: “Target is able to provide a focused delivery proposition that reflects their broad understanding of our business and operating environment.

“Target is able to provide LV= with resilient systems, high quality service support, within an appropriate cost model. During our partnership with Target, we can expect to receive the benefits of an up-to-date system, running on a supported platform, as well as further system development as we require.”

James Snow, Target Group strategy director, said: “I am delighted that LV= has agreed to continue and extend our fruitful working partnership. We believe that this relationship will continue to grow and strengthen, and we look forward to working with LV= in the years to come.”

Focus to power Unisys platform

Focus Solutions has begun a strategic partnership with Unisys.

The partnership will provide Unisys with technology from Focus Solutions for their multi-channel mortgage origination platform. Unisys selected focus:technology after a strategic review of the leading forms suppliers in the market.

Based on Focus’ experience of creating sales automation and advanced web based applications, Unisys is set to create a straight through processing model aimed at the major banks and building societies across the UK and Ireland, selling high volumes of mortgage related business.

Focus’ technology is currently being used to power Trigold’s Electronic Trading Centre and this partnership deal now enables a lender to develop an e-application process once and deploy this across multiple channels.

The same data is transferred directly into Unisys’ origination platform avoiding the need to re-key.

Richard Stevenson, chief executive, Focus Solutions Group plc, said:“We are delighted to be working with Unisys as we look to grow our brand further in the mortgage sector. The latest version of focus:technology dramatically reduces the associated costs for developing intermediary and consumer portals in an intelligent and dynamic fashion. Our clients want fast and adaptable solutions delivered with change in mind. We are currently actively engaged on several significant deals together.”

Steve O’Loughlin, Unisys head of sales for mortgages in the UK, said: “The Unisys origination platform (UMO) works seamlessly with the award winning UFSS mortgage and banking system and the partnership with Focus will improve further the ability to deliver true end to end process optimisation and business agility. UFSS is already a key business component used by half of the top UK lenders. We have a good relationship with Focus, based upon their can do attitude, technology and domain knowledge and this relationship will continue to help us maintain our market leading position.”

Mortgage 2000 drops sourcing system cost below £2 per week

The monthly cost of the Mortgage 2000 sourcing system, formerly Encore, is being reduced from £23 plus VAT per month to £8.50 plus VAT – the equivalent of just £1.96 a week.

Nikki Haworth, Head of Mortgage 2000, said: “We are offering a 63 per cent reduction to support mortgage brokers at a very difficult time – and it will apply to both new and existing users. Our mortgage sourcing system is the most accurate in the UK and this is why brokers should use it. But at a time when brokers are feeling the pinch we wanted to offer them the opportunity to reduce their expenditure.”

This change is part of a range of sweeping changes within Mortgage 2000 to respond to the new environment.

Existing customers will have their monthly subscriptions cut automatically. It will not be necessary for them to take any action to benefit from the reduction.

Nikki Haworth added: “All brokers will be focusing on maximising revenue and minimising outgoings. This is a great opportunity for brokers to switch to save money – and with our leading mortgage sourcing system.”

Nigel Payne, managing director of TMB, said: “By reducing subscription costs, Mortgage 2000 is helping its existing customers while not compromising its product offering. I expect this news will receive a warm welcome from brokers.”

Trigold updates Case Manager

Trigold has unveiled its new Case Manager software. It provides tools such as fee reconciliation and a commission summary. The software also provides brokers with the tools they need to satisfy TCF rules, says Trigold.

Based on the MortgageStream software, Trigold has customised the system to focus on the post-sale element of the client relationship and, pushes client data from the Prospector AAA sourcing system into Case Manager.

Paul Holden, sales director at MortgageStream, said: “To be picked by the leading software provider in the UK for mortgage brokers is a massive endorsement of our system. Unlike other solutions which rely on data being dragged between systems, Case Manager has been developed to push client files automatically from Trigold’s Prospector sourcing system into the case management file. This makes the management of the case quicker and easier for mortgage advisers. Additionally, the new system allows multi-user firms to administer client files centrally and collaborate with colleagues for maximise efficiency.

“With the FSA deadline for TCF management information just months away, there is massive pressure on firms to invest in an integrated point of sale and back office system as it will present a host of processing and business benefits.”

David Aylmer, marketing and business development director at Trigold said: “We have been integrated with MortgageStream for over four years and in that time we have got to know the people and the technology at MortgageStream and have been very impressed. Case Manager has been adapted to provide Trigold users additional control of their clients file from the point that the product is selected throughout the life of the mortgage sale and the sale of ancillary products.

“Perhaps the most important benefit for mortgage advisers is the ability of the system to automatically generate RMAR reports in minutes rather than hours or even days as is customary with more traditional methods. This compulsory document should not be a burden to produce.”

Network Data finds environment “challenging”

The Network Data Group has stated that that results for the full year to 31 December are likely to be below market expectations.

In a trading update ahead of its results announcement for the six monthly period ending 30 June, the Group said it had found the first six months of 2008 to be a “challenging environment”.

It said that it has been actively involved in reducing its cost base since last September and this program has been accelerated throughout 2008.

Grenville Folwell, chairman, said: “We believe these conditions will favour the merger of networks. Our core business NDL, the largest mortgage network in the UK, intends to play its full part in this process. We are currently evaluating acquisition opportunities that can be merged with our existing operation at very little additional cost.

“Overall, while we expect 2008 to signal the bottom of our markets in terms of transaction levels, there are as yet no signs of recovery and the only rational course of action for the management of the group has been to cut our costs accordingly.

“Staff numbers have been reduced by 50% since last September and a number of major IT projects which had previously been outsourced have been brought in-house.

“The tough and turbulent times that the UK economy is now facing, and the impact on the mortgage and property markets in particular, will undoubtedly provide opportunities for companies that take the right actions now, and in the future, to ensure both survival and profitability.

“The Group will take whatever actions are necessary to meet these objectives.”