Digital mortgages up 23pc in six months

UBank mortgages grew from $2.2 billion to $2.7 billion in the six months to March 31, an increase of 22.8 per cent.

Speaking to MortgageBusiness, UBank chief executive Alex Twigg said the growth is evidence of a global shift towards online mortgage distribution.

“We have had a significant uptake in our mortgage volumes direct through UBank and you will see that across the globe,” Mr Twigg said.

“Fifteen years ago, across the UK, there was a significant move towards online mortgages; you’ve seen it happen in the US; and you are now seeing it happening in Australia."

The UK's Mr Twigg believes Australia is well ahead in terms of mortgage innovation.

“The one thing that I have learnt about the Australian mortgage business over the last six years since I arrived [in Australia from the UK] is just the incredible amount of innovation that takes place already,” he said.

Last month, ING Direct executive director of distribution Lisa Claes flagged the massive opportunity that exists in mortgage innovation.

According to Ms Claes, an enormous opportunity exists for financial service providers to give customers the transparency and ability to self-direct through online tools.

“What banks tend to do is focus on the transactional element,” Ms Claes said. “I think where there is a lot of room for improvement – but, more importantly, scope for opportunity – is to look at the whole value chain."

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