Robo-advice  

Robo-mortgage adviser promises fastest-ever applications

Robo-mortgage adviser promises fastest-ever applications

A digital mortgage broker has pledged to provide the ‘fastest-ever’ mortgage application process lasting a total of just 15 minutes.

Hoocht is a real-time mortgage advice platform using chatbots to handle customer conversations, which are followed by automatically-generated mortgage and borrowing capacity illustrations.

Customers are then passed to Hoocht’s brokers for mortgage advice via online chat to help them make their final decision.

The Hull-based fintech firm claims its artificial intelligence technology makes applying for a mortgage ‘as quick and easy as online shopping’.

Pledging to be ‘an ethical business and lifestyle choice from the outset’, Hoocht has partnered with Parkinson’s UK (PDUK) to donate an amount from every procuration fee it receives to the charity.

Founder and managing director Rich Wynn, who has previously worked for London & Country and Barclays and set up his own telephone-based brokerage MortgageCube, aims to recruit up to 20 more people in the firm’s first year.

He said: “People are used to completing instantaneous transactions, usually via their smartphones, for everything from buying their supermarket shopping to booking a holiday.

“We will take the drudgery and repetition out of the mortgage application process, while the other, important aspects of the relationship between us and the customer will still happen, including offering them appropriate advice. 

“In this way, we’ll reduce a typical application process from potentially several hours to 15 minutes, if the customer follows all he steps we require of them.”

The digital mortgage broker market is expanding rapidly as tech firms look to simplify the borrowing process as much as possible.

Established players Trussle and Habito have recently been joined by firms such as MortgageGym - which also claimed to provide 15-minute applications - and Countrywide recently unveiled plans for its own digital broker, Mojo Mortgages.

Mike Richards, director at London-based Mortgage Concepts Associates, was sceptical of the 15-minute claim put forward by the firm.

He said: “If that is the case, there is no way it can be advised.

"It will be non-advised unless it drops out. In 15 minutes, to get a mortgage application done, you are not going to get any advice.

"It is not going to be ‘is that the best one for you?’; it will be the cheapest one on the list but not necessarily the best one.

“I think while there are some youngsters who will do that. I think it is very minimal, and most people will want to have face-to-face advice. It is not like buying a £10 Blu-ray off Amazon – it is potentially the biggest thing you are ever going to buy.”

Mr Richards said the service may suit a minority of people who are able to get any mortgage from any provider because they have good income and a clean credit record but it would be unlikely to work for more complex cases.