NatWest launches UK’s first paperless mortgage

Leading UK bank NatWest has launched the UK’s first paperless mortgage, which promises to dramatically reduce turnaround times.

The lender claimed the innovation means offers can be made within 24 hours and the average offer time will be 10 days faster.

Instead of sending signed paperwork or personal and private information through the post, borrowers can upload documents such as a driving licence, passport and payslips via an online portal.

A telephone call with a mortgage adviser will then be arranged to guide the customer through the process, before they sign the final documents electronically using a mouse or tablet.

All NatWest mortgages applied for over the phone will be offered paper-free – a move the lender said could save over 4.4 million sheets of A4 paper a year.

Lloyd Cochrane, director of mortgages at NatWest told the Financial Times: “This innovation will make the process of buying a new home much simpler, easier and faster for our customers, transforming the way homes are purchased in the UK.”

After an initial conversation and guideline affordability calculation, a formal appointment with a mortgage adviser is booked.

Prior to the appointment the customer’s case is created on the portal system and an email sent to prompt them to register, along with a two minute video introducing the service and explaining how it will work.

Once registered, the customer is given a list of items NatWest believes they need to upload, such as identification documents or payslips.

These can either be uploaded as scanned in files or by photo taken there and then. Where identification is concerned, the system links to Experian which verifies the document and the customer is then given 10 minutes to take a selfie.

That appointment is also augmented with a virtual meeting where documents are shared, explained and key parts highlighted, and if the customer is happy to do so, a signed acceptance of the mortgage offer can be made either using the touch screen, mouse or keyboard at that point.

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