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Mortgage Brain – new CEO, record results and mortgage masterclasses

Zahid Bilgrami has been appointed as group chief executive officer of Mortgage Brain.

Bilgrami joins the company after 11 years as chief executive officer at Defaqto. The brand and profitability grew under his leadership and was eventually integrated within the SimplyBiz Group.

Previously, Bilgrami was a senior manager in Andersen’s business consulting division, and at Balfour Beatty where he helped the board shape group strategy and managed acquisitions.


With an MBA from the London Business School, the qualified chartered accountant is set to join Mortgage Brain in April.

Commenting on his appointment, Bilgrami says: “I am delighted to take on the helm of Mortgage Brain from Mark’s stewardship. The business is well placed to provide new innovative fintech solutions into the mortgage and adjacent markets.”

“I will be joining a dynamic management team which is eager to deliver ground-breaking propositions for the benefit of our customers.”

Current chief executive officer Mark Lofthouse, who is due to retire this year, comments: “I’m looking forward to welcoming Zahid to the Mortgage Brain family and I know that under his leadership the group will remain true to its core values and continue to lead the market through innovation and delivery.”

“It has been a privilege to lead the Mortgage Brain family for almost two decades and retire in the knowledge that the business is in safe hands.”

Mortgage Brain rolls out Lendex to all advisers

Lendex, Mortgage Brain’s multi-lender application and submission gateway, is now available to all mortgage advisers following a successful pilot.

Lendex is the latest technological innovation that connects advisers directly with the back-office systems of participating lenders, allowing them to submit a decision in principle or full mortgage application through a single login.

The process means advisers will no longer have to log into individual lender websites and rekey information. The system also provides a full audit trail to help advisers meet their compliance requirements.

Client documents can be uploaded directly from Lendex to participating lender’s systems, with advisers able to track case progress. Advisers can currently transact with Nationwide Building Society, Virgin Money, Coventry Building Society and Platform through Lendex.

Further lenders are due to come on board with Lendex in the coming months.

Advisers can access Lendex via Mortgage Brain’s online sourcing solution MortgageBrain Anywhere or through its customer relationship management (CRM) system The Key – both of which enable users to pre-populate information directly into applications.

Alternatively, advisers can benefit from the Lendex functionality directly through the Lendex user portal.

Neil Wyatt, sales and marketing director at Mortgage Brain, comments: “It’s incredibly exciting to be able to roll out Lendex to the full market following a thorough and successful pilot period. The brokers that have experienced the Lendex system have been effusive in their praise, having seen first-hand the real and tangible benefits that it has delivered.”

“At Mortgage Brain we are passionate about developing technology that can streamline the mortgage process and support advisers, and the fact that some of the biggest lending names are already on board demonstrates that they recognise the value of Lendex.”

Affordability Hub passes £20 billion milestone

Advisers have broken through the £20 billion barrier of affordability searches on behalf of their clients using Affordability Hub, Mortgage Brain’s affordability-based sourcing solution.

The volume of searches conducted on the system doubled since August 2020. In January 2021, more than 15,000 unique adviser searches took place.

The platform – a combination of affordability and product and criteria sourcing – allows advisers to source products for their clients based on the affordability tests employed by different lenders.

Results in January 2021 revealed that lenders were found to be both affordable and have a suitable product available 35.02% of the time – up from the 2020 average of 33.24%. The average loan size searched for on the platform in January stood at £215,009, while the average loan-to-value (LTV) grew to 71.43%.

Through Affordability Hub, a single, standardised form brings together all of the relevant information for the case ‒ from the value of the property to the income and expenditure of the client ‒ which is then run through the calculators of partner lenders.

In less than a minute, advisers are able to establish precisely how much that client may be able to borrow, while the recording of each step of the calculation ensures that advisers benefit from a fully compliant audit trail.

The platform has welcomed a host of new lenders onto the system, including the likes of Leeds Building Society, Pepper Money, Ipswich Building Society and Harpenden Building Society.

Wyatt comments: “We know that one of the first ‒ and most important ‒ questions an adviser faces from any client is how much they can borrow, and Affordability Hub provides them with the means to answer that question quickly and accurately, while also delivering a compliant audit trail to support their advice. It’s a complete gamechanger.”

Mortgage Vision masterclass powers on

Mortgage Brain’s intermediary event Mortgage Vision is being held online throughout March in a brand-new format.

Mortgage Vision, now in its 12th year, has returned virtually with a series of eight masterclasses packed with industry insights and presented by numerous industry leaders.

The agenda covers a diverse range of topics including adverse credit, navigating ever-changing policies and criteria, self-employed insights and general insurance.

The masterclasses began on March 1 and will run until March 25. Each 45-minute masterclass starts at 11am and will focus on a different topic, allowing intermediaries to attend each session.

Every masterclass is eligible for up to 0.5 hours of continual professional development (CPD), with delegates provided with an opportunity to quiz presenters through a live Q&A.

Wyatt says: “Our Mortgage Vision event has been going strong for more than a decade and provides advisers with an unparalleled range of diverse and insightful presentations.”

“Advisers have a huge amount to keep on top of, from the challenges of securing mortgages for borrowers with adverse credit to helping those who are self-employed, and Mortgage Vision is a brilliant way to inform and educate advisers on the often-changing mortgage landscape.”

Interested intermediaries can find out more here. You can view the schedule of past and upcoming classes below:



Masterclass subject

1st March

Mortgage Brain

Navigating the ever-changing landscape of lender policy, product availability and client affordability.

4th March


Reimagined insurance technology that makes giving GI advice a no brainer.

8th March


High LTV insight: let's talk about all things 90%.

11th March

Pepper Money

Adverse mortgage insight: An in-depth look at adverse credit and its impact on mortgage customers.

15th March

Mortgage Brain

Simplifying your mortgage submissions to multiple lenders from a single login.

18th March

Leeds Building Society

New Build and affordable housing: what's coming down the track?

22nd March


Self-employed insight: let's talk about all things self-employed.

25th March

Skipton Building Society for Intermediaries

Underwriting and credit risk: behind the scenes.


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