Countrywide has revealed its latest investment in online tech following today’s launch of Dynamo, a re-mortgaging service offering products direct to the public from NatWest, Virgin Money, HSBC, Barclays, Leeds Building Society, Nationwide and Santander.
At launch the website offers only a re-mortgage service and has half a dozen brokers working for it, although with Countrywide’s backing Dynamo says it has big plans to expand quickly and will move into first time buyer and mover mortgages later this year.
This is likely to be achievable – Countrywide is to supply leads to Dynamo from its customer database by contacting them as their mortgages come out of fixed-rate deals, for example. But Dynamo will do its owner marketing to acquire customers elsewhere, too.
Countrywide is an equal partner in the business alongside Blenheim Chalcot, which has a successful track record investing in tech start-ups including ClearScore. A Countrywide executive, its MD of Financial Services Peter Curran, sits on the Dynamo board.
Back to basics?
This digital play by Countrywide sits slightly oddly alongside the company’s recent promise to ‘go back to basics’ but will help sure-up its ancillary income stream, which recently dwindled from 50p to 38p for every £1 generated by its estate agency business, its most recent annual results revealed.
Dynamo, which is based in Hammersmith, London, says it will offer borrowers a rates checker service as well as exclusive deals not available from other brokers.
“As the UK’s largest broker, we believe that more and more of our customers want choice in how they apply for their mortgage. Dynamo gives them the online solution,” says Peter Curran (left).
“The combination of Countrywide’s deep mortgage industry knowledge, insight and relationships, together with Blenheim Chalcot’s record of building disruptive fintech has allowed us to create Dynamo.
“Dynamo provides the perfect complement to Countrywide’s existing channels and delivers an easy to use online option, for those customers who have become increasingly accustomed to managing their finances in this way.”