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In the Spotlight with Paul McGerrigan of Loan.co.uk


In the Spotlight with Paul McGerrigan of Loan.co.uk

Loan Talk chats to Paul McGerrigan of Best Secured Loans Newcomer of the Year, Loan.co.uk.

Paul McGerrigan, Chief Executive Officer of secured loan brokerage, Loan.co.uk, has exclusively discussed the firm’s plans to become one of the largest brokers in the seconds market in the next 12 months, after heavily investing into its digital strategy.

Give us an idea of your previous experience and why you decided to set up Loan.co.uk?

I have more than 16 years’ experience in the loans and financial services sector, having previously owned a number of loan companies and worked in lending for companies such as GE Money and First National.

I started Loan.co.uk because I knew there was a better way for customers to borrow. Our aim is to transform the UK finance market by offering a simple and fair service that provides transparency and puts the customer first. It never fails to surprise me how complicated and stressful it can be to borrow money and I believe this shouldn’t be the case.

Finding the right secured loan should be a straightforward experience that cuts out the red tape, jargon and avoids any hidden costs.

What was your reaction to being voted as 2014’s Best Secured Loans Newcomer?

The awards evening was a great success, as the resurgence of the secured loans industry continues to gather pace. We were very excited and proud to have won the Best Newcomer award, which I believe reflects our commitment to providing an exceptional level of customer service, supporting our customers from the first time we speak to them through to the end of the loan period and beyond.

My team and I are very passionate and committed to building a business that informs, helps and empowers our customers, creating an experience that’s unlike any other broker in the market.

I also believe it was recognised that Loan.co.uk is a very positive business for the secured loan industry as a whole, due to the investment we are making to increase the awareness of the product.

What developments do we expect to see in 2015 from Loan.co.uk?

Our continued focus will be to shake-up the loan market in the UK and become one of the largest second charge brokerages in the industry in the coming 12 months.

We have invested heavily in a compelling digital strategy, which will be a key platform for us in capturing a greater share of the secured loan market during the next 12 months and beyond. Our market leading, state of the art proprietary IT system, which sits behind our website, will also provide efficiency in processing applications, whilst empowering and educating customers.

What makes you different from other second charge brokers?


I am CeMap qualified and during my career I have actually sat in customer’s homes. I have direct experience of the frustrations, fears and anxieties they have when it comes to borrowing money.

I understand that people just want a well-informed, hassle-free experience and Loan.co.uk was created to provide just that. My objective has been to use this customer insight to deliver a unique proposition in the market place that puts the customer needs at the heart of the process.

 While borrowing money may not be the most exciting process, there is no absolutely no reason why we should not aspire to make it simple. We believe investment in market leading technology, backed by our customer focus places us in a strong position to secure an increasing share of the industry we will help to grow during 2015.

Did you always want to be in finance?

I’ve always been fascinated by the concept of borrowing and lending money. My dad’s friend was a bank manager and I can remember as a child overhearing him talking about lending money to people and businesses. I thought it was amazing that he made these important decisions every day but it also resonated what a responsibility it was.

This early experience fuelled my interest and when the opportunity came to work in financial services I took it. Whilst we do not lend money at Loan.co.uk, we do have a responsibility to educate and empower customers and to make the process of borrowing money easier for them. This is a role we take very seriously.

What one thing would you change about the second charge industry and why?

The industry must show greater transparency if it wants second charge loans to become a mainstream product. When someone is borrowing money, the last thing they want is corporate red tape, jargon and confusing complexity. Brokers need to work hard to make customers aware of secured loans as a very viable and straightforward option.

Greater transparency about the product and its benefits will help to increase the market significantly. We are now operating in a period of heightened regulation, and we remain committed to delivering a simple, fair and compliant, service that will help in this process.

Do you think there is a rise in commercial loans from second charge players in the market? Why?


The lines between secured and certain types of lower value commercial loans are becoming blurred to some degree and I believe there is more crossover than ever before. I think this has happened for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, people are more financially aware and demand more options are made available to them when borrowing money. They should have a range of choices and by educating and empowering them with this knowledge they can make an informed choice that best suits their needs.

Secondly, I believe due to the credit crunch and the huge decline in second charge loans, companies in this sector where forced to expand their product range to survive. As a result companies that were once single product are now multi product.

What, in your opinion, will be the biggest challenges for the secured loans market this year?


A lack of innovation has caused the market to stagnate and plateau at around the £60 million per month mark. There is huge potential for the industry to grow during 2015, however the focus must be on transparency, delivering confidence and educating brokers and their customers on the circumstances when a secured loan may be more appropriate than a re-mortgage. It is also vital for the industry to consider how they are reaching their customer.

 





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