Case Study

How United Trust Bank uses Nivo for a quicker, smoother and more robust mortgage process

United Trust Bank (UTB) is a fast-growing specialist lender with a strong focus on delivering outstanding customer and intermediary service. Although long-established as development and bridging finance lender, UTB is a relative newcomer to the Mortgage sector, first arriving on the scene in 2015 with the launch of its Second Charge loan offering and more recently in 2019 expanding into the standard Residential Mortgage sector.

From the start, the Bank set out to provide a more personal service to customers and brokers with less dependency on credit scores for underwriting decisions and a commitment to continuously improve the mortgage application process. UTB’s Mortgage team have won 14 industry awards for its offering and has completed well in excess of 13,000 individual applications in the process.

The Challenge

The challenge facing UTB was one common to lenders and brokers in the mortgage industry. UTB needed a way to reduce the time between application and completion, improve internal efficiency, and deliver a smooth journey, all while maintaining the highest levels of data security.

One of the most important steps in the application process is the verification of a customer’s identity. The Bank must satisfy itself that the borrower is genuine in order to prevent it from falling victim to fraud. However, completing them by scheduling a person-to-person telephone call or face-to-face meeting with representatives of the Bank or another third party such as a solicitor can add time and frustration to the customer’s journey. Delays like this have proven to be a significant factor contributing to mid-application dropouts across the industry. ID verification would become even more of a pinch-point for many lenders and customers when adapting to Covid-19 restrictions.

The Solution

UTB was the first UK mortgage lender to implement Nivo’s ID verification app and remains the only lender in the market which enables its customers to complete all of their pre-offer security checks via an automated service. UTB customers are invited to download a UTB branded, white labelled Nivo app, which enables them to confirm their identity from home, work, or anywhere, at whatever time suits them. Through the app customers can take a photograph of official ID documents, such as a photo driver’s licence or passport, which are then biometrically verified against a live ‘selfie’ video to prove that the customer was indeed ‘live’ and not pre-recorded.

Once submitted, Nivo’s technology, which utilises Onfido’s AI biometric verification process, compares 30 elements of data to compare the person using the app with the documentation provided. Within seconds of the information being submitted a report is sent to the administration team at UTB, displayed clearly using a traffic light system of multiple verification criteria. The process enables them to quickly complete all ID verification requirements.

The Result

Implementing Nivo’s ID verification and security checking system brought several immediate benefits to UTB and their mortgage customers. The security checking process was quicker, smoother, and more robust. With around 96% of applicants choosing to use the app to complete the process, the Bank was able to free up resource equivalent to around 1.5 full-time employees in the Mortgage administration team. The improved efficiency enabled them to increase their volume capability whilst customers saw their application progressing at a faster pace.

Customer feedback of the new process was overwhelmingly positive. As well as creating a smoother journey, the new process enhanced their customers’ perceptions of the Bank as a digital leader, compared to much larger and more established lenders.

The onset of the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent national lockdown only amplified the necessity for a robust automated security checking system. 90% of UTB’s staff were working remotely and the logistics of managing a telephone-based security checking process would have placed additional pressure on a team already operating at full capacity.  ‘Old-School’ ID checks with solicitors or Bank representatives became impossible. Nivo’s technology, now fully embedded in UTB’s mortgage process, enabled the Bank to manage its existing volumes and even allowed it to seize greater market share and launch new products while some of its competitors were stepping back.

Buster Tolfree, Commercial Director – Mortgages, United Trust Bank said:
“Working with Nivo has transformed the way we process mortgage applications and the benefits of adopting innovative fintech are now being enjoyed across several areas of the Bank. At UTB we’re keen to explore, develop, and implement technology which can increase our efficiency and improve customer outcomes, both of which will have a positive impact on our bottom line. We see the appropriate application of technology as key to our future growth and success.
“When introducing automated services, it’s not unusual to have to accept some negative elements in order to benefit from the overall positives. On this occasion, there was no demonstrable downside at all. Customers found the process simple and convenient and we have been able to increase our volume capability and apply human resource where it is of greater value-add. I believe we’re scratching the surface of the potential for technology to improve customer experiences of financial services and I’m looking forward to working with Nivo to develop and launch more industry firsts.”






London, UK

“When introducing automated services, it’s not unusual to accept some negative elements. On this occasion, there was no downside."

Buster Tolfree
Commercial Director

Nivo Provided

Biometric ID&V

Advanced document verification and facial biometrics technology verify identities.

Business to Business Messaging

Simple and secure transfer of case documents and data between intermediaries.

Compliant E-signing

Necessary controls ensure the signatory is who they claim to be.


Streamline information gathering with flexible forms.

ID Passporting

Seamless transfer of a customers’ verified identity reports across organisations.

White labelled App

All of the power of the Nivo App, live in the app stores under our client’s brand

Secure Filesharing

Customers can instantly upload payslips, bank statements, and proof of address.


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