Origo, which develops e-commerce standards in financial services, is to develop an XML-based standard for the mortgage sector.
A group of 13 lenders, including Abbey, Nationwide and Portman Building Society, has put up the funds to begin work on the standard. It aims primarily to enable intermediaries who sell mortgage products to communicate more seamlessly with multiple lenders when scrutinising mortgage products on behalf of clients.
The development of the standard will concentrate initially on the first part of the mortgage application process, known as gaining approval in principle.
Paul Pettitt, managing director at Origo, said the initiative was prompted in part by the Financial Services Authority assuming regulatory responsibility for mortgages in late 2004.
"With FSA regulation, mortgage lenders and intermediaries now have to deliver standard information about their products. Agreeing common e-commerce standards will help to support multiple channels and enable intermediaries to move towards using a single system," he said.
Pettitt said those involved hoped to get a provisional standard for the first part of the mortgage application process "nailed down this month".