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In the Spotlight with Jo Edwards of UTB


Jo Edwards

Loan Talk caught up with Jo Edwards, business development director at United Trust Bank (UTB), to find out more about today's second charge mortgage market.

What experience have you had in the industry?

Having worked at Nemo for 10 years, and before that First Plus, I have a great deal of experience in second charge mortgages. More recently at Nemo, I oversaw our marketing team and was heavily involved in the strategic planning for the company.

Did you always want to work in finance?

I’m not sure anyone sets out to work in second charge mortgage sales! However, I worked in sales roles through university and have always enjoyed the service side of helping people. This easily transitioned into managing people and so I have been lucky to enjoy my career to date.

What makes a lender stand out from the crowd?

Understanding how we can add value to the broker and the customer, with interest rates being at an all-time low, it’s important for a lender to truly understand what is important to our brokers, and deliver on this.

What exciting projects does UTB have for next year?

UTB has been very pleased with the success it has seen with launching the second charge mortgage. Next year we aim to bring a wider product range to market to add additional value to our proposition and improve choice for customers.

How might Brexit impact the second charge sector?

If the experts can’t get this one right, I’m not sure I’ll be able to! However, I’ll give it a go. I think we will see the base rate increased at some point and house-price growth slow down. While these may not have a significant impact on the second charge market directly, the economic environment will have implications for property lending, hence our intention to diversify our product range to take advantage of potential opportunities.

What are the biggest challenges currently facing the seconds market?

I think the commercial aspect of lending is now one which is causing many lenders to think about how they will operate in the future. With rates being the lowest I have ever seen, now under 4%, how product features can be developed in a way other than focusing on the rate is going to be an interesting challenge for 2017.

What is the most interesting deal you have seen since joining UTB?

There’s not one in particular which stands out, as we always look to apply a personal, specialist approach to all of our cases. We take lots of questions from brokers and always seek to provide the best solution.

What is your favourite aspect of the seconds industry?

I know everyone says the people, but it’s so true. After leaving Nemo, I am delighted to be back and seeing all the friendly faces I missed over the summer.

Who is your idol and why?

No one in particular, but people who make a positive change in the world, no matter how small a change it may be.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

I love watching the film Elf at any time of year and as I don’t have children as an excuse to watch it, that has to be my guilty pleasure.





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