Is paperless the future of mortgages?

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RBS, NatWest and Ulster Bank have been using technology to complete paperless mortgages. These were launched in 2017, and now RBS has reviewed its paperless mortgages and concluded that on average paperless mortgages reduce the time it takes to complete a mortgage application by eleven days.

Instead of borrowers submitting paper documents, DigiDoc technology allows them to complete mortgage applications digitally, and submit signed supporting documentation. The system saves documents securely online and can verify them. No documents have to be sent through the post.

Screen sharing technology allows agents to see what is on the borrower’s computer screen so that they can be assisted in filling in digital forms correctly.

The paperless mortgage system has been positively received by the banks’ customers who also find it easy to use. The system is particularly welcomed by overseas borrowers who do not have to visit the UK to complete their mortgage application or wait a long time for their documents to arrive in the post.

The system has been tested for residential mortgages but could be adapted for commercial mortgages and bridging loans. Paperless mortgages do not remove the need for human employees in mortgage brokers and lenders. Humans still make lending decisions, need to value property and perform the required legal work. Once a loan offer has been made by a lender, the paperless system speeds up the administration time it takes from the initial loan decision to funds being available to complete property purchases.

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