Mortgages  

Darlington adds mortgage calculator in website overhaul

Darlington adds mortgage calculator in website overhaul

Darlington Building Society has overhauled its website and added a host of new features - including mortgage and savings calculators.

The revamped website, built by local agency Hush Digital, signals the lender’s latest investment in technology. It also recently ploughed money into a new telephone system.

Part of what Darlington calls its ‘change agenda’, the new website has fewer pages to navigate, more video guides per customer demand, and bigger fonts as well as a zoom option for those suffering from eyesight difficulties or dyslexia.

As a result, the lender said the site is significantly more accessible than its previous one, and easier to use.

“Since the society rebranded five years ago, the market and our own business have evolved significantly, and it was time to make sure our technology and systems kept pace with those changes,” Darlington’s chief operating officer, Chris Hunter, said.

“As well as making sure it serves the needs of our existing members, we also wanted it to be a showcase to the outside world and attract new customers, so it has a very fresh, dynamic, interactive feel.”

Hunter said the key change, as requested by members, was to make the website more user-friendly on any device - be that a tablet, mobile phone, or desktop.

“[We are] delivering an exciting new era,” the COO said.

Jonny Overfield, Hush Digital’s managing director, said the old website was “overly-complicated”.

He added: “So we have concentrated on giving it a simplified new structure so that customers can access the information they need within two or three clicks. 

“It has also been designed so that it can evolve as members’ needs change.”

Darlington, which held assets of around £705m at the end of last year, offers mortgages to first-time buyers, as well as to those moving home or looking to remortgage.

Alongside its mortgages, Darlington also offers savings accounts, and partners with Wren Sterling to offer independent financial advice.

Other lenders have made investments in their technology of late. Also this week, equity release lender Pure Retirement launched its improved mobile app designed for brokers on the road.

It too focused on the “latest accessibility controls”, according to the lender’s COO Simon Hayton. As well as adding new features, including the ability for advisers to create key facts illustrations directly from their phone or tablet.

But unlike Darlington, which outsourced its website build, Pure Retirement employs 20 of its own in-house developers which means all the technology sitting behind its app is its own.

ruby.hinchliffe@ft.com