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Loan rivals unite to buy Mortgage Brain

A consortium of major lenders, including Halifax and Nationwide, has acquired software provider Mortgage Brain in a move which will establish the UK&#39s first “mutual” common trading platform.

The two bitter rivals, along with Alliance & Leicester, bought a 51 per cent stake in the company this week which they intend to sell to other lenders to create the long-awaited industrywide platform.

As revealed in Money Marketing last month, Mortgage Brain had been in talks with many of the major lenders to persuade them to join the platform, which they would own and control.

But it is understood weeks of feet-dragging by hesitant lenders led to the consortium taking the initiative to encourage other providers to follow its lead.

The move will come as a major blow to rival trading platforms, including IFonline and Mortgage 2000, which had been battling it out to commit lenders to their system.

Mortgage Brain, which will remain independent, says it is prepared to offer “every assistance” to other electronic systems to enable them to link their software to the platform.

Halifax head of intermediary sales Grenville Turner says: “This is an excellent example of lenders working together to offer a better deal for advisers, providers and customers.”

Mortgage Brain director Mike Green says: “This is one of the most exciting developments in the mortgage ind-ustry for years. With the help of the three lenders, we will develop an industrywide common trading platform.”

Pretty Technical Partnership partner Kim North says: “Fantastic. If the weight of the consortium can encourage all lenders to participate in the system then it will make the lives of mortgage brokers a whole lot easier.”

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