Atom Bank seeks disruptive brokers

Atom Bank seeks disruptive brokers

Atom Bank will look to grow its mortgage distribution through advisers who are interested in disrupting the industry’s existing processes, the company’s director of retail mortgages has said.

Maria Harris said Atom Bank is currently only distributing its mortgage proposition, which launched today, though Legal & General and LSL.

While she said distribution would be limited initially, Ms Harris said Atom Bank would grow it soon.

Article continues after advert

She said: “We will look to expand but while we are growing our balance sheet we need to be limiting the distribution.

“L&G and LSL both understood what we are trying to do with our technology and were advocates of trying to disrupt some of the existing practices in mortgages.

“There is a lot of paperwork which is still flying about. We have not been able to digitise all of it but all the bits we could, we have.”

Once an Atom mortgage has been recommended by an intermediary, customers will need to download the Atom app.

In the app, customers can log-in with face and voice biometrics and track their decision in principle and application progress.

They can also receive all updates and communication through the app and store all key documentation there.

When it launched its proposition today, Atom Bank said that in some cases its processes would allow an application to be approved within 24 hours.

Ms Harris said she expects this would be the case with a “reasonable amount” of applications.

She said: “The only thing that stops you being able to offer same day approval is the intermediary not giving you the documentation or if you need a physical valuer to come to your house.”

Atom Bank’s products include a two-year fixed rate at 1.19 per cent and a five-year fix at 1.89 per cent, both for 60 per cent loan-to-value with a £900 product fee.

Meanwhile at 90 per cent LTV there is a two-year fix at 1.99 per cent and a five-year fix at 2.89 per cent, also with a £900 product fee.

Equivalent products without product fees and with slightly higher rates are also available. Atom Bank's standard variable rate is 3.75 per cent.

Ms Harris said Atom Bank was not interested in competing with other lenders on price, saying this was “not sustainable”.

But she said it was able to offer competitive rates because it doesn’t have infrastructure such as branches, meaning its costs are low.

Atom Bank’s technology is supplied by Iress, which will be responsible for the ongoing maintenance and support of the technology.

Andrew Simon, Iress’s executive general manager of product said: “Consumers now expect to engage with lenders at the time and in the manner that most suits them, and increasingly through the device of their choice. 

“With competition being fuelled by new entrants, the fight for a customer’s business will intensify, increasing the need to get new products and features to market as quickly as possible. And all of this must be achieved whilst trying to minimise cost. In terms of improved customer experience, an acceleration of the ‘time to offer’ is key here too.”