Countrywide to launch online mortgage business – and Marks & Spencer to enter mortgage market

Countrywide is to launch an online mortgage business in the New Year. And Marks & Spencer, better known for its ladies clothing and luxury ready meals

Countrywide is to launch an online mortgage business in the New Year. And Marks & Spencer, better known for its ladies clothing and luxury ready meals, is entering the mortgage market.

Countrywide’s new venture is with Blenheim Chalcot, a company that builds digital start-up businesses.

The new offering is to be called Mojo Mortgages.

It will operate alongside Countrywide’s existing mortgage services, offered face to face and over the phone.

Countrywide currently has 991 branches, at least half of which now offer both high street and digital estate agency services, and 600 mortgage consultants.

Peter Curran, managing director of financial services at Countrywide, said: “This year we have strengthened our telephony mortgage sales channel and invested in technology to support our mortgage advisers.

“We plan to continue to grow all three channels as we offer a truly multi-channel proposition.

“This includes increasing our adviser force in the field, further strengthening our telephony team in Camberley and now through our partnership with Blenheim Chalcot, we’re able to offer digital tools to our advisers and launch a consumer-facing online mortgage proposition to further enhance the choice we give our customers.”

Meanwhile Marks & Spencer has announced it is to start offering mortgages in the New Year.

The business has operated M&S Bank since 2012. It is wholly owned by HSBC but run as a joint venture.

The retailer has had a financial services division for over 25 years.

Its new mortgage range looks to target buyers, including first-timers, rather than the remortgage market.

Sue Fox, chief executive of M&S Bank, said: “Many of our customers have shopped with M&S their whole lives. We’re now in a position to support our customers with the biggest financial decision they’ll ever make – their home.”

Tesco has offered mortgages since 2012, and Sainsbury entered the market this year.

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