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Castlight Financial, Big Issue Invest and Advice Direct Scotland launch fintech tool

Today (5th June) Castlight Financial, the Glasgow-based financial capability company, Big Issue Invest (BII) and Advice Direct Scotland (ADS) launched a tool that will empower people struggling with debt by providing them with access to their own data. Read more

Financial inclusion in sight for UK’s renters

We have been following the journey of Lord Bird’s Creditworthiness Assessment Bill through the parliamentary process and I was very thrilled to see it progress through the committee stage at the end of last week, with widespread support and no amendments. Read more

Progress Through Technology – Castlight Financial and HSBC UK Join Forces

Progress through technology. Castlight Financial support HSBC UK to deliver their first open banking loan

Ask any car enthusiast why their dream car might be an Audi and they’re very likely to say the brand has a reputation for innovative design and cutting edge technology. Dig a bit deeper and they’re also likely to rate Audi’s reputation for reliability and customer service.

So, I have to admit to being pretty delighted that the very first HSBC UK customer using Castlight’s affordability technology secured a loan to buy their dream Audi.

This is clearly a customer who knows a thing or two about design, technology, reliability and customer service!

Open Banking in Action

So what has actually happened here? As you’ll know, PSD2 or open banking came into force in January this year. Many UK banks weren’t ready for the revolution that is open banking. But some were and the Castlight team have been working closely with HSBC UK to get ahead of the game. So this week we were ready – our affordability technology CaaS or “categorisation as a service” was tried, tested and ready to go. So when the HSBC UK customer took up the offer to be the first customer to apply for a loan using open banking technology, it was all systems go.

The customer securely linked their bank account to HSBC UK, who used their open banking technology to pull down all the transactional data. HSBC UK then ran the transactional data through the CaaS engine, which categorised income and expenditure into 155 categories, summarising income streams, credit commitments, essential costs and discretionary spending to reveal a monthly disposable income. The information was then merged with credit performance data and in under 10 minutes HSBC UK had all the information they needed on which to make a highly informed lending decision. The process also eliminated the need for the customer to produce bank statements and payslips to comply with money laundering regulations as all the information was there in the CaaS report.

CaaS was able to provide their underwriters with enhanced data direct from the customer’s bank account, whilst giving that customer a better, faster service. And its good news for Castlight, as more and more lenders both in the UK and globally start to recognise the importance of enhanced affordability technology like CaaS, and use it to ensure that loans are safe and affordable for both lenders and borrowers.

Progress through technology. It’s an approach that works for Audi and it’s certainly working too for Castlight.

We Are Singing From The Same Hymn Sheet Mr Davidson

Back in October, I gave the new, international accounting standard IFRS9 a hearty endorsement, because I firmly believe it drives right to the heart of affordability. The IFRS9 standard, introduced in January, has a radical new perspective, recognising the importance of looking forward, anticipating problems before they happen. Read more

10 Minute Turnaround For Tuna… And Mortgages

Jamie Oliver’s bestselling 30 Minute Meals book was published in 2010. Two years later his 15 Minute Meals book knocked JK Rowling’s new novel off the bestseller top spot. And last year his 5 Ingredients, quick and easy food was a favourite stocking filler. This latest speeded-up offering reduced the number of items to shop for to 5 and gave us the recipe for delivering Seared Sesame Tuna to the plate in just 10 minutes. Read more

Chancellor’s Housing Boost And True Mortgage Affordability

It is great to see housing as a key element in Chancellor Philip Hammond’s spring statement. His £44 billion project includes 215,000 new homes in the Midlands and an extra £1.7bn for affordable housing in London, equating to 26,000 new homes. Read more

FCA Warns Second Charge Lenders to Review Affordability Checks

Mortgage Strategy has published a story today revealing that the FCA has criticised poor affordability checks in the second charge market, and details the industry’s failings in a “dear CEO” open letter to all second charge lender executives. Read more

Acute Debt Must Never Be The End Of The World

Why Castlight shines a light on debt prevention.

 

Formula

This apparently is the formula behind the calculation which pinpointed this year’s Blue Monday – the day in January claimed to be the most depressing of the year. Read more

Interest Rate Hikes Raise Red Flags

I talked about the new international accounting standard, IFRS 9 in this blog last week. And its still on my mind, particularly after last week’s interest rate rise and the clear signal from the Bank of England that there are more hikes to come. Read more

Bank of England Turns Spotlight on “Pocket of Risk”

The Bank of England’s news release, following its September Financial Policy Committee (FPC) meeting, warned that whilst the overall domestic credit environment was pretty stable, there was a “pocket of risk in the rapid growth of consumer credit”. Read more