Mortgage software firm offers brokers up to 50% stake
The aim is to to steal a march on the fintechs vying to streamline loan applications
Michael Quinn, MD of Mortgage Brain Ireland, is launching a ‘call option’ scheme for broker clients. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
Mortgage Brain Ireland, a software provider for mortgage brokers, plans to offer customers up to a 50 per cent stake in the business as it seeks to steal a march on a growing number of fintech firms vying to streamline mortgage loan applications.
Michael Quinn, managing director and owner of Mortgage Brain Ireland, which holds the distribution licence for Mortgage Brain software in the Republic, is launching a “call option” scheme for broker clients, currently numbering 100 companies, to buy up to 50 per cent of his business in January 2022. The business is currently valued at less than €1 million.
The aim of the initiative is to accelerate the use of Mortgage Brain’s technology linking brokers with banks. Currently, only AIB’s Haven subsidiary is linked up to the company’s mortgage application platform.
The Dublin-based software distributor plans to issue stock options to brokers from January, priced at 3 per cent of the value of company shares. Share purchases will be allowed 12 months later, provided brokers have managed to bring two more lenders on to the Mortgage Brain platform.
“It is ironic that it has taken a virus to accelerate our digital mortgage path,” said Mr Quinn. “Our goal is to make brokers and lenders more productive in a heavily paper-driven industry. Bringing brokers onboard and giving them an option to hold shares is a logical thing to do in this new environment.”
Mortgage Brain Ireland, set up in 2002, is among a number of software and service providers to mortgage and insurance brokers, including Business Information Systems and Money Advice.
In the past three months, start-up fintechs CreditLogic, founded by KBC Bank Ireland’s former director of innovation Eddie Dillon and its head of development Gavin Bennett, and Onlineapplication.ie, led by mortgage expert Karl Deeter, have raised money as they seek to drive automation in the mortgage application process.
Mr Quinn said his firm’s focus is on the connection between brokers and banks, rather than the consumer-facing part of the mortgage business carried out through intermediaries.
Brokers currently account for about 40 per cent of mortgage activity in the Irish market, compared to a low point of about 20 per cent following the crash as overseas lenders retrenched from the market and mainstream banks focused on lending directly to customers.