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Former chief execs back with internet

Some of the biggest names in Scottish financial services, including former Scottish Widows chief executive Mike Ross, are backing a new online mortgage venture.

The founding directors of Mform also include former Scottish Widows finance director and Scottish Widows Investment Partnership chief executive Bill Main, former Britannic Group and Britannic Asset Management chief executive Danny O’Neil and former Prudential intermediary sales director and Britannic Asset Management sales and marketing director Francis Ghiloni.

Mform, which has significant financial backing from fund manager Artemis, will be headed by chief executive Eamonn Rice, who is a former partner at Ernst & Young, and marketing and business development director Ghiloni.

The new venture aims to feature direct links between borrowers and lenders. Consumers will be able to compare mortgages online and make an application without a broker’s involvement or can be passed on to broker London & Country.

Mform says the online mortgage business is the fastest growing sector of the retail financial services market and wants to follow the success that execution-only businesses have seen in the investment and insurance markets.

It says over half of consumers conduct mortgage product research online. It will offer whole-of-market product information provided by Moneyfacts. It expects to receive around 2,000 mortgage applications a month, with a target of 24,000 in 2007.

Mform is based in Edinburgh with around 15 staff.

Rice says: “The online mortgage market is one of the most attractive in retail financial services and we believe that there is a gap in the market for an organisation to provide a comprehensive and truly independent service to people looking for a homeloan.”

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