Government to UK FinTech sector: write an app to help Generation Rent

Idea, announced in the Budget, gets official kick-off today: let’s use rental payment data to improve the 11 million renters in Britain’s credit scores and therefore their mortgage applications

Posted 6 December 2017 at 9:38am by

So here’s an intriguing idea: develop an application that will enable the nation’s 11m renters to record and share their rent payment data as a way to improve their credit scores and their chances of getting a mortgage.

Sounds good to us – and also to the government, which says it’s prepared to put £2m on the table to spur the UK’s FinTech sector to come up with just such a solution in the shape of its new ‘Rent Recognition Challenge‘.

Hidden in last month’s Autumn Budget, the competition’s being officially launched by the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Stephen Barclay, at the Fintech Connect Live conference today at the ExCel Centre in London.

The competition will provide an initial round of grant funding to six promising proposals to help to turn their ideas into a workable product. Expert judges from the UK FinTech world will then decide which ideas are good enough to warrant further funding and support to bring their ideas to market.

“People’s monthly rent is often their biggest expense, so it makes sense for it to be recognised when applying for a mortgage,” he said on HM Treasury’s site this morning.

“Without a good credit score, getting a mortgage can be a real struggle.

“Most lenders and Credit Reference Agencies are unable to take rental data into account, because they don’t have access to it. The Rent Recognition Challenge will challenge firms to develop an innovative solution to this problem and help to restore the dream of home ownership for a new generation.”

If you think you’ve spotted a way to harvest the data needed, then you should apply: the competition will open to applications early in the New Year, with development needing to conclude by October 2018.