Rivals Abbey National and Legal & General are to link up their legacy systems to create a seamless service for mortgage advisers and customers as part of a multi-million pound e-commerce investment by Abbey National.
The technical details of the deal have yet to be finalised but could see an XML-based link, through Web browsers and servers, between the financial services giants.
Abbey National is in talks with other major mortgage brokers about creating similar interfaces as part of a new online mortgage application service, launched this week.
Neville Sharman, head of retail intermediary e-commerce development for Abbey National, said the legacy link would be time-consuming but secure. "Doing testing is the big issue. We need to make sure it is absolutely right," he said.
The new service, entitled Introducer, allows mortgage brokers and independent financial advisers to obtain an agreement in principle for a mortgage application within 60 seconds, through the Web site.
One of the main advantages for brokers is that they do not have to re-key mortgage applications when applying to Abbey National. The industry can take up to 24 hours, Abbey said.
A middleware platform links to Abbey National's legacy systems and stores information about mortgage applications.
Customers can also track the progress of their mortgage applications through a real-time tracking feature.