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NatWest and RBS buying stake in Mortgage Brain

NatWest and RBS are acquiring a 12.75 per cent stake in trading platform Mortgage Brain in a move which will see it co-own the company with Nationwide, Halifax and Alliance & Leicester.

The UK&#39s second-biggest bank says it is poised to buy an equal share in the platform for an undisclosed sum in a bid to ease the compliance burden imposed by FSA regulations, likely to come into force next August.

The deal, due to be completed this week, marks a significant step towards Mortgage Brain&#39s ambition to be the first common trading platform owned and controlled by the industry.

It is currently developing technology to enable it to provide intermediaries pro-cessing business through the platform with fully compliant pre-application documentation – one of the main requirements of lenders under the new rules.

A pilot scheme to test the software is already under way and its success could prove pivotal to Mortgage Brain&#39s abil-ity to secure the signatures of the four additional equity partners it is seeking.

Mortgage Brain managing director Mike Green says: “This really shows we have captured the mood of the marketplace. We can now look forward to signing up the other major lenders we are in serious discussions with.”

NatWest head of mortgage sales Charles Haresnape says: “We will work to develop the proposition further to provide both intermediaries and len-ders with a cost-effective, compliant trading platform.”

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