I am responding to the “Loan arrangers in showdown” article in Money Marketing (March l). By way of background, in December 1997 my company won a contract to develop the Mortgage Decisions desktop system which is now in widespread use by agents introducing business through the Legal & General Mortgage Club.
Following detailed research and a great deal of consideration, L&G made a serious investment in a highly customised version of our Mortgage Link system – launched to the L&G salesforce in July 1998.
L&G has continued to invest in enhancements to the system, and to my knowledge is very much the front runner in the mortgage e-commerce market – unlike some over-hyped mortgage trading platforms who would probably struggle to introduce as much mortgage business in a 12-month period as L&G introduces each working day to its panel lenders.
I cannot comment on L&G's main rivals such as Allied Dunbar or Scottish Amicable, who both featured in the March 1 article, as we do not deal directly with these companies.
However, from our extensive contacts with the lending community, it is quite apparent that L&G is also streets ahead of such mainstream rivals in terms of e-commerce. Following a survey conducted by Legal & General in August 1998 among the then 650 users of the system, figures were published in its Mortgage Club Newsletter (now in the public domain) which showed the users felt the time saved on each sale was 29 per cent and the increase in conversion of leads to sales had gone up by 36 per cent.
Taking these figures at face value, this is a productivity gain of 1.29 x 1.36 = 1.75 – a 75 per cent increase. This is not me stating these figures, it is not even L&G, it is the users of the system who provided the input data to the survey.
I find it hard to believe the real figure is anything like 75 per cent but the principle certainly holds true – provide the salesforce with the best tools to do their jobs and their sales will certainly increase.
The number of Mortgage Decisions' users has grown month on month since August 1998. It should really come as no surprise L&G have put themselves into the number one spot as the biggest mortgage introducer in the UK market. They have been working hard at it for some years.
Credit where credit is due – to L&G for their foresight, their commitment and their ongoing support for their salesforce.
Managing director, Network Data,