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Nationwide building society opens up systems through mortgage API

Nationwide Building Society is trialling an application programming interface that will enable its mortgage brokers to link directly to some of its systems

Nationwide Building Society is running a pilot programme in a sandbox environment which will enable third parties to connect to its systems.

The project, which aims to speed up the mortgage application process, will trial connecting third parties such as brokers with Nationwide’s credit risk and back office systems, via an application programming interface (API).

The goal is to speed the process for brokers to submit applications for mortgages with the building society.

Traditional mortgage brokers, who sell to the public on behalf of lenders, currently connect to different systems to collect information about the customer, the mortgage and to send an application to Nationwide.

Nationwide said this involves duplication because the same information is put into the system more than once. Using the API, the information can be shared between systems after being inputted once.

Ian Andrew, director of intermediary relationships at Nationwide Building Society, said the technology will help with meeting customer expectations and broker requirements.

“Brokers generate a significant proportion of our mortgage lending, so it’s important we also invest in our services,” he said. “The sandbox will work with a number of the brokers during the trials before launching to the market. “The launch of our API sandbox is a significant moment for Nationwide and the sector, and we’re excited to be innovating and learning in partnership with a number of third parties in a test ahead of rolling out this new technology to the whole market.”

Read about Nationwide’s digital developments

Over the past 12 months, Nationwide has focused on tech to improve things for its essential broker network. For example, through technology, it has enhanced case tracking to give brokers better insight into how customers application are progressing. 

This is all part of the building society’s strategy to increase its digital capabilities. Last year, it revealed plans to increase its IT spending by £1.3bn to £4.1bn over the next five years.

It all began over a decade ago, when most financial services firms were slashing spending due to the global financial crash. At that time, the company embarked on a £1bn project to transform its technology, which followed years of underinvestment.

The project, which began in 2008, initially involved upgrading its datacentre, outsourcing IT for the first time, and implementing Microsoft technology in the front office and SAP at the back.

Today, using fintech on top of these investments, the building society is rapidly adopting the latest technologies to transform the business. To keep pace with the fintech revolution, Nationwide recently opened its first major technology hub in London to give it access to the IT professionals it needs.

The new digital innovation hub will add 750 tech jobs, and the building society is also expanding operations in its home town of Swindon, which currently houses all 3,500 of its technology operations staff.

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