M&S Bank uses Open Banking to speed up mortgage applications

By Roger Baird on Wednesday 27 February 2019

Digital Banking

The lender said the move will make its application process ‘faster and more secure’.

M&S Bank said it has signed a deal which allows Open Banking to speed up its mortgage applications.

The retailer-owned lender, run as a joint venture with high street giant HSBC, said its service is “one of the first” of its kind offered by mortgage providers.

It adds that most customers will no longer need to supply copies of bank statements to support their application, because these will be “immediately and securely” obtained through Open Banking searches.

M&S Bank said the new service will make the mortgage “process not only simpler and easier, but also faster and more secure”.  

The lender runs the new service with US consumer credit agency Equifax, London-based data analytics firm AccountScore and Open Banking information provider consents.online, also based in London.

M&S Bank head of mortgages Julia Annandale said: “Delivering excellent mortgage solutions and the M&S-standard service that our customers have come to know and expect from M&S Bank is our absolute priority.”

The bank, which has 29 branches and over 120 bureaux de change based in M&S stores across the UK, said it already operates Open Banking services for its credit card and personal loan applications.

AccountScore chief executive Emma Steely said: “This latest addition to M&S Bank’s Open Banking offering will simplify the process for M&S Bank mortgage applicants and reduce the application time by making it much quicker and easier for customers to share supporting documentation.”  

M&S Bank’s Open Banking new application processes operate through Payment Services Directive and application programming interface rules.

A change in European Union law at the start of the year has ushered in Open Banking, which means consumers can allow businesses, other than their bank, to access their financial data.

Advocates say this potentially allows customers to get better deals, such as cheaper overdrafts, and speed up switching between banks.

The move comes as M&S also today confirmed it will pay up to £750m to launch an online food delivery joint venture with rival Ocado next September.  

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