A unique online mortgage comparison service launched to help millions of homeowners across the UK reduce their monthly payments has been valued at £1million following significant pre-launch investment.
RateSwitch offers homeowners the chance to regain control of existing mortgage costs with minimal hassle by finding competitive loyalty deals from the UK’s leading lenders online, completely free of charge.
Following extensive development activity, the platform is now live and as a business valued at £1million after significant pre-launch investor attention culminated in Finance Wales providing an undisclosed sum in a deal facilitated by Capital Law.
Founded by experienced Cardiff-based Mortgage Adviser Lee Flavin, alongside business partners Jason Stallard and Lyanna Tsakiris, Rateswitch is the first of its kind for the UK mortgage industry in breaking down the best loyalty rates available from your current lender in a similar format to comparison sites like Go Compare and those operating in other sectors.
An estimated 40% of all residential borrowers repay their mortgages on their lender’s Standard Variable Rate (SVR), which is the uncompetitive default rate to which most introductory fixed and tracker deals automatically revert.
Any notable change in credit status, earnings or employment type (full-time to part-time, or employed to self-employed, for example) since originally taking out a mortgage can easily affect an individual’s eligibility to remortgage from one lender to another. Determined by credit scoring and a thorough assessment of income and outgoings, not everyone can simply switch lenders to save money, with many ending up stranded on their current lender’s SVR as a result.
RateSwitch provides instant access to better rates without having to change lenders, as most typically allow their existing customers to switch to improved loyalty rates without the intervention of a credit check or underwriting assessment.
Without registration, and by simply selecting a current lender, mortgage balance and estimated property value, visitors can access loyalty rates accurately sourced by RateSwitch technology within seconds from the UK’s leading lenders. RateSwitch’s experienced Mortgage Advisers then calculate how much the individual stands to save and where applicable get the rate switch process underway.
Also supported in its development by Wales’ first ever tech accelerator, named the ‘Ideas Fund’, RateSwitch was officially launched after fund administrators at TechHub Swansea spotted the potential the concept had to disrupt the entire UK mortgage market as it stands today.
Coinciding with a new FCA study looking into whether the mortgage sector can be improved to benefit consumers – particularly around the use of digital channels to deliver information or advice – the launch of Rateswitch will also help address concerns around whether tools currently available help consumers make effective decisions.
Paul Harwood, co-founder of TechHub Swansea, said:
“The potential RateSwitch has to turn the way homeowners view the mortgage market as a whole upside down cannot and should not be underestimated. 2016 was a year of exceptional innovation within the mortgage industry through ongoing advances in automation and digitalisation.
As an online service offering unparalleled levels of control to what is, for the majority, the largest monthly outgoing any of us have, RateSwitch has the power to completely revolutionise the way consumers not only access, but influence the market as we currently know it.”
Sarah Smith, Portfolio Investment Executive for the Technology Seed Fund at Finance Wales, said:
“Rateswitch has great potential with a truly innovative concept.
“We were delighted to provide the company with the growth capital it needed to establish a commercially viable online platform – which could benefit thousands of homeowners across the UK.”
Lee, CEO at RateSwitch, said:
“It’s been a long-held mission of mine to not only raise greater awareness of the unnecessary costs SVRs bring, but to provide homeowners with a tangible solution to the problem, so we’re absolutely delighted to be partnering with Finance Wales on this.
“We’re very excited to join the current wave of start-ups striving to simplify complex processes within the mortgage industry and believe our existence will go a long way towards helping homeowners save money on their mortgage quickly, and with minimal hassle.”