Molo Finance launches as UK’s first “fully digital mortgage lender” for 21st century

Posted: 1 November 2018 12:29 pm

The new lender claims its digital mortgage application is the first of its kind in the UK, allowing users to complete mortgage applications and receive offers in just 15 minutes.

Some applications may be referred for credit checks, but Molo still aims to offer a final decision for the majority of customers inside 24 hours. Molo boasts that this beats the industry standard of between 18 and 40 days.

The speed of the offer mirrors the steps associated with loan processing and is achieved via real-time decision-making and validation processes. For borrowers with deposits from 20%, Molo’s initial mortgage product range includes two, three and five-year fixed-rate products. Remortgage products come with zero product fees.

To access Molo’s products customers go online through its website. Applications can be completed online, but if there are any queries, customer service is available. Currently, Molo accepts applications related to properties in England and Wales, but the business plans to expand to cover the rest of the UK in the coming months.

Francesca Carlesi, Molo’s CEO, says that the initial focus is on buy-to-let landlords but her company will soon expand the offering to include customers who are, or want to be, residential owner-occupiers.

The aim is to disrupt the current legacy system for home financing that Carlesi says has been leaving British consumers behind. Molo wants to offer “a quicker, easier and more cost-effective alternative” for people to buy their homes. Molo will be “unlocking new possibilities…using technology” and looks forward to passing the benefits on to home buyers.

Carlesi and Leo Gruenstein, a serial investor in new ventures, founded Molo last year after Carlesi, who was Deutsche Bank’s UK Managing Director at the time, had been looking for a mortgage herself and realised just how obsolete, slow and cumbersome the process is in the UK. She describes the conventional mortgage process as “terrible” and “painful”, not least because the “obsolete practices” mean it can take four to six weeks of a paper-based process, when Molo is offering the sort of instant service that customers expect when setting up a current account online with most of the challenger banks.

Customers can already access Molo’s products online, even though the lender is still in Beta. The lender is not regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) – the successor to the Financial Services Authority (FSA) – but voluntarily has adopted the regulator’s standards for underwriting.

Molo secured £3.7 million through a seed funding round, led by Ubon Partners, for its bid to radically redesign people’s mortgage experiences “for the 21st century” to “make mortgages easy” cutting out paper forms, manual reviews and “convoluted layers” of brokers, banks and traditional mortgage lenders.

Carlesi adds that Molo is not a broker and doesn’t intend to disrupt that particular market. The focus is instead on the lending process as a whole, and the goal is to make the process easy, quick and more convenient.

At Finder UK, we are aware that making a mortgage application can be stressful, and so to help you understand the financial jargon, we have come up with a handy A-Z glossary. You can also compare mortgages to see if you can save money.


Picture: Molo Finance

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