FinTech North News and Regional FinTech Developments

Write-up and Re-watch: The Future of Mortgages

On Friday 5th February the northern FinTech community came together virtually to explore Mortgages through the lens of FinTech. The Future of Mortgages was hosted in partnership with Fluent Mortgages.

The event was well attended, with over 300 registrations and 160 people joining the session live.

For those who weren’t able to join the event live, we have produced a recording and a write-up so you can catch up. Please click the image below to view the recording.

Joe Roche, Engagement Manager at FinTech North, opened the session and outlined the work that FinTech North does to develop the northern FinTech economy and bring the community together via events and conferences.


Julian Wells, Director at Whitecap Consulting and FinTech North, was our next speaker. Julian provided an overview of the mortgages market. Lending volumes in 2020 took an expected dip, but then recovered spectacularly. Arrears will be an issue going forward, due to issues such as unemployment.


We then welcomed Maria Harris, Director at Digital Cat Consultancy, up to the virtual stage. Maria introduced herself and her background in FinTech, including being part of the Atom Bank team. Maria talked about the unprecedented changes to how the mortgage industry works, including a long-overdue move away from paper and manual processes.


“At some point, we will have to bite the bullet and embrace tech solutions” – Maria Harris, Director, Digital Cat Consultancy


Maria also spoke about the technology gap, with smaller lenders and brokers risking being lost without the resources to navigate the solutions available. Finally, Maria also covered data; with 1 in 4 mortgage transactions falling through, due to important data only being captured at the final stage, proving inefficient and often heart-breaking for the consumer.


Next we welcomed Richard Hayes, CEO and Co-founder of Mojo Mortgages, as our next speaker. Mojo Mortgages are an award-winning FinTech and mortgage broker, who are also increasingly working on the tech side of things, offering a suite of API’s.


Richard spoke about brokering being broken, in the sense that there is little connectivity and the ecosystem is so heavily focussed towards intermediaries. Mojo Mortgages offer mortgage intermediary as a service, giving their customers access to real-time mortgage advice.


“We’ve seen lots of innovation over the last 3 years; the intermediary ecosystem is quite messy as a result, there are lots of players and touch-points in that journey.” – Richard Hayes, CEO and Co-founder, Mojo Mortgages


Richard highlighted that 83% of Mojo users are there to determine eligibility.


“Mojo’s vision is to create financial confidence where it never previously existed” – Richard Hayes, CEO and Co-founder, Mojo Mortgages


Regarding the sector’s future, Richard anticipates:


  • A smaller number of digital players
  • Simplification of the value chain; improve customer experience
  • A more harmonised intermediary ecosystem
  • Less rigid, more versatile products
  • More diverse customer journeys; no one path


We then gathered together our speakers for a mortgages innovators panel, introducing several new speakers.


Tim Wheeldon, COO of Fluent Money Group, introduced broker Fluent Money, telling their story from their beginnings in 2008 with 20 staff, to now having over 350 people.


“Data is being moved around badly, moved around manually” – Tim Wheeldon, COO of Fluent Money Group


Fluent Mortgages is part of Fluent Money Group and was launched in 2017 and is a partner-driven intermediary offering advice and an extensive range of products.


Regarding the future for the sector from Fluent, Tim sees:


  • Collaboration with the ID verification process
  • E-sign solutions, supported by all parties
  • Speech analytics, compliance focussed transactions
  • Tighter affordability API integration
  • Chat bots with natural language processing
  • Data integrations with conveyancing firms


Our next perspective came from Antonia Lock, Head of Strategic Initiatives at Nude. Nude launches soon and aims to help young people save for their first home. Antonia provided a deep dive into the size of this market:


15 million – potential customers aged 18-35

£62 billion – first time mortgages each year


Maxim Cohen, Founder and Chief Executive of The UK Adviser, provided the perspective of another northern mortgages FinTech. UK Adviser’s service span a number of different product sets.


The UK Adviser’s advisertech platform, empowers advisers with all the necessary tools to offer the client the best experience, and be efficient – the two things are not mutually exclusive.” – Maxim Cohen, Founder and Chief Executive, The UK Adviser.


Emma Hollingworth, Distribution Director at M:Qube, was our next speaker. M:Qube is a data management platform, supported by AI & Deep Learning, that concentrates on the mortgage sector.


“We use our tech to reduce costs for advisers and deliver a seamless user experience” – Emma Hollingworth, Distribution Director, M:Qube.


We then heard from Stuart Phillips, Co-founder of BrokerSense, which is an affordability aggregator which has gone on to become a staple tool of many brokers. Stuart introduced Brokersense Marketplace, a communication platform where brokers can quickly post cases and share information with lenders, nationally or locally.


“The sea level is riding on the mortgage broker market somewhat. Dis-intermediation is not necessarily a bad thing, in many cases; it drives down costs to the consumer, it increases their choice, gives them more transparency and more control over their finances” – Stuart Phillips, Co-founder of BrokerSense.


Our panel discussion saw themes emerge around Open Banking, Products and ESG.


Click here to view the recording.


Our next event is our Virtual Leeds Conference, taking place later this month on 25th February. Click to register and find out more.


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