Tandem asks public to design Open Banking mortgages

Challenger bank Tandem is asking the public to participate in creating the UK’s first crowd-designed mortgage service.

The digital bank plans to launch the mortgage lending service in 2020 and is inviting customers and potential customers’ to help design its features, with a focus on accessibility for aspiring home owners.

Tandem, which obtained a banking licence when it acquired Harrods Bank in January last year, said the initiative was aimed at helping consumers who struggle to find affordable or flexible mortgages that meet their needs.

The project will seek to leverage Open Banking data address the challenges of securing a mortgage for those with a “blip on their credit history”, or gig economy workers whose incomes are not always consistent.

The current system of credit bureau assessment has been criticised for punishing Brits who have made mistakes, or have thin credit files, with prohibitive rates on mortgages.

The bank said Open Banking now offers a detailed view of the potential customer’s aggregated financial data including transactional and savings data, in addition to data supplied by credit reference agencies, to make more informed decisions about whether or not to underwrite the customer.

A blog posted to the bank’s website said that it wanted to “create a product that is truly reflection of consumer needs in today’s turbulent market”.

The statement explained: “When looking at developing new products, it’s important for us at Tandem to make sure we are designing them with the customers’ and potential customers’ best interests at heart.”

The mortgage product will be tested with a small group of customers by the end of 2019 before a full rollout in 2020.

Nick Bennett, chief operating officer at Tandem Bank, said: “Tandem is building a mortgage proposition that reflects the changes that are happening in the sector whilst challenging some of the established ways of doing things.

“We’re looking at new and intelligent ways of assessing whether a potential customer is creditworthy, as well as ensuring our mortgage offering meets the needs of today’s consumers rather than taking a traditional approach. This is why we’re keen to have as much input as possible from the public on ways in which we can improve the current market offering”

Tandem said some of the ideas it is considering for mortgage products include:

• Auto-payoff mortgages – small regular overpayments help chip away at the total and pay off your mortgage in record time.

• Flexi-mortgage – flip between interest-only and principle plus interest as and when you want.

• Reverse mortgage – start releasing equity early and automatically.

• Career ladder mortgages – higher salary multiples based on potential career earnings rather than current salary.

• Easy remortgage – quickly and easily lock in a better fixed-rate up to one year early without any remortgage fees.

• Nomad mortgage – flip between a residential mortgage and a buy-to-let and if and when you want to move countries.

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