Former COO of Deutsche Bank joins MortgageGym

Deutsche Bank’s former operating chief Henry Ritchotte has joined London-based fintech company MortgageGym as an adviser and has personally invested £500,000 in the start-up.

Mr Ritchotte, who served as chief operating officer at Deutsche from 2012 until the end of 2015, said he is backing the fledgling company as he believes it will “revolutionise the mortgage market” when it launches in the summer.

The mortgage “robo-adviser”, which is working with some of the UK’s largest high-street banks, will provide an online service that allows customers to apply for home loans in minutes.

The free site, which gained its licence from the City watchdog earlier this year to provide advice, connects customers to brokers and banks. It plans on dramatically speeding up the loan application process, which usually takes hours and involves reams of paperwork.

Customers upload their documents digitally by taking a photo. The site then draws from Experian’s credit files to select the most appropriate mortgage options available. Customers are provided with instant online access to a broker who can advise on the chosen deal before the application is submitted. MortgageGym aims to make money by charging brokers on the site a fee.

John Ingram, founder and chief executive of MortgageGym, recently told the Financial Times that the idea to create a quick online process stemmed from stringent regulation, called the Mortgage Market Review, that has slowed down loan applications.

The rules, which came into force in 2014, were aimed at preventing a return to the irresponsible lending of before the financial crisis by imposing tough affordability checks on borrowers while requiring them to gain mortgage advice.

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Mr Ritchotte said he believes MortgageGym will help prospective borrowers who could not previously get a deal. He added that he is “keen to support ambitious young firms focused on transforming the delivery of financial products in a disruptive regulatory and technology environment”.

After leaving his position as COO at Deustche Bank and stepping down from the management board, Mr Ritchotte was responsible for developing its digital services following a management shake-up under chief executive John Cryan in 2015. He left Deutsche earlier this year after more than two decades at the German lender.