As the United Kingdom continued to roil over scandals in the traditional home mortgage industry, online lender E-LOAN, Inc. launched a UK home loan Web site Monday. The Dublin, California-based company, which claims to be the first multi-lender online site in the region, plans to offer over 35 lenders and some 10,000 loan products to UK consumers.
“In the wake of months of public debate over misleading selling scandals within the United Kingdom’s traditional mortgage industry, the launch of E-LOAN, Ltd. comes at a time when the British people are seeking a simple, unbiased and understandable process for financing their homes,” said E-LOAN CEO Andrew Armishaw.
The UK operation is a joint venture between E-LOAN and eVentures, which itself is a joint venture between Japanese Internet company Softbank and Australian media giant News Corp.
More to Come
The UK venture is the second international foray for E-LOAN, which launched a site for the Japanese auto lending market last month. The company plans to launch joint ventures in Australia and on the European continent later this year.
E-LOAN has appointed the former CEO of a German discount bank to head its European operation.
The international launches for E-LOAN come as industry analysts predict that the online mortgage volume could reach as high as $250 billion (US$) by 2003 — nearly 25 percent of total mortgages issued. The United States, where many observers believe that the level of consumer borrowing has reached epidemic proportions, is far out in front of the rest of the world in terms of loans per capita.
E-LOAN was founded as a brick-and-mortar brokerage in 1992 and launched as an online business in 1996. It received venture capital funding from Yahoo! and Vivendi/Softbank investment venture @visio.
E-Loan now employs some 300 people and went public in June of last year. In September, E-LOAN branched into auto loans with its acquisition of CarFinance.com. It now offers credit card and small business loans as well.
With expansion however, comes cost. E-LOAN reported third quarter revenue of $5 million, while its net loss for the quarter climbed over $20 million.