An online mortgage tool could save brokers hours of work and safeguard their positions in the face of growing competition from robo-advice.
CriteriaHub enables advisers to search through a database of criteria that is continually updated by lenders, helping intermediaries to find the best possible deal for even the most complex cases – without having to spend hours on the phone or trawling through websites for the information.
The system is the brainchild of Ipswich–based mortgage adviser Jason Hegarty, who told FTAdviser his new system could lead to better outcomes for consumers with niche requirements.
“When brokers search for a solution at the moment, it may have come from the fifth or second lender they find, and the chances of the broker carrying on researching the market to find multiple solutions - I can’t see that happening a lot,” he explained. “The client may not be getting the best deal.
“CriteriaHub provides multiple answers in one place. In a fraction of a second, the broker has all this information it would have taken a long time to research.”
Mr Hegarty said the system could save brokers “anything from 10 minutes to multiple hours depending on the complexity of cases”.
He added that CriteriaHub differs from offerings such as Iress Trigold and Mortgage Brain in that it is ‘criteria-centric’ rather than product-centric.
The system currently contains information from more than 20 lenders, and the developers are in discussions with 40 more.
The aim is to have more than 95 per cent of lenders on CriteriaHub.
“We are publishing more criteria on our website than lenders publish themselves,” Mr Hegarty said. “Some are telling us more information than they perhaps do on their own – there is a greater depth of knowledge”
At present, the tool only features criteria for residential mortgages, but Mr Hegarty plans to include buy-to-let criteria during the second half of the year.
Brokers who are interested can pre-register for the service, which is initially free, with plans for a monthly fee of £25 plus VAT.
“I want it to become an environment or community and bring lenders and brokers closer together,” Mr Hegarty said.
“There is a lot of technology coming into the market such as robo-advice. We want to keep advisers and brokers at the forefront of mortgage advice.”
Neil Bishop, mortgage consultant at London-based Elysian Finance, said: “I am finding it really useful. Coming back into whole-of-market after 18 months it has been a bit of a godsend, especially for trickier cases.
“It is definitely saving a lot of time, especially on something like guarantor mortgages. When I was whole of market before a lot of people used to do it, but a lot have pulled out.
“When I first signed up they said the cost would be £30-odd a month, and I would happily pay that.”