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Google moves into mortgages with US lenders

Google has launched a mortgage lead-generation facility in the US, prompting speculation that it may make a similar move in the UK and raising fears over the impact this could have on mortgage brokers.

Google’s AdWords Comparison Ads, which is currently available to people in 15 US states, lets consumers compare mortgages from participating lenders which pay Google a fee if the customer requests a quote.

Financial Technology Research Centre director Ian McKenna warns that if the internet search giant sets up the same model in the UK and links up with lenders, it could have a big impact on mortgage brokers’ business.

He says: “The question is, how many partners would they select? Would they go for a small number of major partners? If they did, that could be very damaging for the smaller mortgage broker.

“Anyone that did not feature on their partner list would start to find life very uncomfortable.”

McKenna believes that, given Google’s 90 per cent share of the UK search market, this new facility would transform the mortgage industry in the UK and broker activity could retreat to the levels of the 1970s. He says: “Once they launch, the UK mortgage industry will never be the same again. We have held the view here for some time that the UK mortgage broking community would never recover to what it was before not by a long way.

“Google could take a staggering market share in a short period of time.”

But Alexander Hall chief operating officer Andy Pratt says: “Google is well positioned to take advantage of the market that is there but not necessarily change the market.

“The majority of people in the UK are still going to want to either speak to people over the phone or face to face.”


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There are 6 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. I have been working with IFA’s up and down the country for the past 18 months or so telling them that if they do not get their:-

    Customer Proposition
    Customer Relationships
    Marketing – both digital and otherwise

    all right they are H I S T O R Y.

    Even in normal market place they are under seige from firms that are really embracing the available technology. Ignore this at your peril.

    The time to get this right is now, not post RDR deadlines or when it next Snows at Midnight on the 32nd of the Month. It’s now.

    We have embraced it and now have more than enough profits and new customers.

    Richard Smith IFA and Tech Consultant.

  2. paolo standerwick 5th February 2010 at 1:44 pm

    Not being a total mortgage man myself I would just like to add, the tide is changing.

    It’s like supermarkets have put small shops out of business, moneysupermarket, google and the like will kill off the mortgage broker.

  3. The comment made earlier by Richard Smith is absolutely spot on. Having personally dominated MSN for many mortgage related search terms prior to mortgages being regulated I completely understand the power of the internet and more importantly the dominance of Google, hence the reason why The Internet Consultancy was created. Mortgage brokers should grasp the resources available to them now…..before it is too late!!

    Dominic Mussell
    Compliance and Internet Marketing Consultant

  4. This pilot has been around for quite some time, and to be fair its just an addtional method of generating income for Google’s current “pay per click”, it would just be Google’s “pay per app”

    At TrumpoMatrix we go one step further than Google whereby the media/publishing organistation receives their advertising revenue on a “paid per completion” basis, it’s completely transparent and fair for all concerned.

    Mortgage Brokers and Financial Advisers are needed now more than ever, so dont give up!

    The 1000’s of advice request enquiries going over our platform are generated from people searching the likes of google for help and advice, just like 10/20 years ago they would look in yellow pages to find an adviser. Google is not the enemy, it’s just like the modern day yellow pages.

    If an IFA/Mortgage Broker is not internet savvy, he is history – end of.

    I urge you all to embrace technology, after all your clients are being targeted daily by very sophisticated web based financial firms, and you need to comete.

    Good luck

    Lee Birkett

  5. Actually this is the wave of the future, and sales people will face greater competition. Imagine if Google goes into Google Commercial real estate, the average building owner would be able to save 5% commission for basically finding an available property. there are so many opportunities jsut waiting for Google. Google is currently $ 300 underpriced. I would not be surpised if someone comes in and buys 4.9% of the stock and the stock stats taking off with founders getting deleveraged. Sell puts on Google LEAPS and BUY LEAP CALLS. A lot of noise about a possible foreign take over attempt.

  6. Apart from the comments from people who obviously have vested interests in advertising their own businesses on this article, I cannot see the dominance you talk about from Google.

    I can see Google operating a lead generation system open to anyone rather than just selected partners and if this is going to take off as others have said, no single network could cope.

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