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BlueZest strikes Gould

Some of the UK’s most experienced financial and tech sector figures have united to re-shape the mortgage sector with the launch of BlueZest – a lending company with technology at its core.

BlueZest, which will launch later in the year, will offer a range of products via their website through an easy-to-use and highly secure online digital application process.

Russell Gould, chief executive, said: “Our founders have brought together some of the most experienced leaders in their respective fields to develop something that we believe will positively re-shape the industry.”

Gould, formerly of Norwich Union, John Charcol, Bradford & Bingley, HomeServe, Everline, Thomas Cook and ANZ Bank, says that BlueZest is on a mission to modernise the entire mortgage process using “cutting edge technologies” and “innovative solutions” to deliver a mortgage decision within 30 minutes.

He added: “The company was born out of a frustration with current archaic practices and a desire to create a range of innovative mortgages, supported by an online application process that is more transparent, more efficient and simpler for both intermediaries and their clients.”

The BlueZest mortgage and secured loan products, which will be available later in the year, have initially been designed to help support the intermediary sector, including mortgage and commercial brokers, packagers, networks, clubs and accountants. The service will provide an added-value offering to improve efficiency, transparency and customer satisfaction.

Gould said: “We have been in constant dialogue with a number of participating brokers and intermediaries over the past few months to ensure we create products and processes that will help them to deliver solutions that their clients want in a fraction of the time.

“We see them as our partners and will constantly work with them to adapt and evolve our offering. In-turn, our technology, gives intermediaries back valuable time so that they can do what they do best – advise their clients.”

By combining the latest technology and innovation, The process is underpinned by responsible lending practices and will be supported by an experienced customer support team.

The BlueZest leadership team includes Simon Baum as chief risk officer (formerly Santander, Alliance & Leicester and Experian); Sue Colquhoun as director of risk and compliance (formerly Kensington Mortgages, Bradford & Bingley and Lapithus); John Robinson as chief technology officer (formerly Experian and International Risk Partnership); Robert Ainscow as funding director (formerly Morgan Stanley, Bear Stearns and Investec Bank); Chris Slater as chief operating officer and chief information officer (formerly Experian and International Risk Partnership) and Duncan Bain as chief financial officer (formerly Cambridge Building Society, Aviva and Arthur Andersen).

BlueZest has partnered with EDM Mortgage Support Services’ to use its Residential Valuation Exchange (VEX).
VEX enables lenders to distribute work to, and receive work from, qualified surveyors. Based on a single centralised platform surveying businesses can communicate with their surveyor panels and allocate valuations to the most appropriate surveyor, providing a fully transparent, centralised platform for all stakeholders in the valuation chain.

Chris Slater, BlueZest chief operating officer, said: “The success of our lending business, which focusses on offering customers mortgage decisions in under 30 minutes, relies on making the right decisions, with accurate and timely information from third parties. When a full valuation is required, accurate information about the progress of the valuation from VEX is critical to being able to commit to an applicant when we will be ready with their offer.

“Now, with the residential valuation process available on a single platform, our team can gain an instant insight into activity or any individual case. Having the whole valuation process under one end-to-end system also means we can make better use of the data we produce, whilst maintaining security.”

Ian Shaw, business development director at EDM Mortgage Support Services, said: “VEX is designed to meet the different challenges faced by lenders who need to work as efficiently as possible.

“Working closely with BlueZest, our platform gives them the oversight of the whole end-to-end valuation process including the selection of surveyor; instruction, receipt and storage of valuation reports; and quality control checking and bill payment; all in a transparent and industry-compliant online hub capable of regular reporting and full audit that is used extensively by lenders across the UK.”

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