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In the spotlight with Andrew Fisher of Sensible Home Finance

In the spotlight with Andrew Fisher of Sensible Home Finance

Loan Talk speaks to Andrew Fisher, Owner of the award-winning distributor - Sensible Home Finance as well as Engaged Solutions Ltd.

Andrew Fisher, who recently collected the
Best Secured Loans Distributor of the Year award in January for Sensible Home Finance, has revealed to Loan Talk what to expect from the company in the next 12 months, and his opinions on the affect regulation may have on the market.

What is your past experience and your current role at Sensible Home Finance?

I have over 14 years’ experience now within the financial sector – starting at Lloyds TSB, [where] I was then headhunted to work at a Secured Loan brokerage. After a year or so working directly in the Secured Loans Market, I then took the decision to set up Relax Finance with my business partner, Carl Kroger. After three successful years trading, we then sold the business to a large PLC. After a further year working with the PLC, I left, and in June 2009, I then formed a finance brokerage, now known as Sensible Home Finance, which Carl and I worked together on from 2011. The business was built through the heart of the recession and has achieved success year on year – through growth, acquisition and performance. Still growing – the business has already achieved record sales this year to date.

Alongside this, I am the Co-Chairman with Carl Kroger of businesses in the following industries - First Charge Lending, Second Charge Lending, Insurance Arranging, Systems and Software Development, Telephony, Online Marketing and Property Management.

As a joint owner of Sensible Home Finance, I have a strong input in the day to day running of the operation and have grown a team of leaders within the company to drive the business forward.

What developments do we expect to see from Sensible in 2015?

- Further growth in all areas of the business.
- Exclusive products.
- SHF brand changes.
- New website launch Q1 2015.
- To have a successful B2B side to the business to match our B2C proposition.

Since Sensible announced plans to hire a further 100 staff members last year, how has this been progressing?

Since our announcement last October, we have already grown in each individual area of the business. In support of this, we have added additional departments within SHF including our own dedicated Marketing department. This all said; we find ourselves well on track to achieve our growth target.

Did you always want to be in finance - What job did you aspire for when you were a kid?

No, when I was younger, like a lot of kids I guess, I wanted to follow in my father’s steps and join the military, but through my teenage years it was clear that I was never going to do very well with being shouted at and ordered what to do.

What one thing would you change about the secured loans industry?

I would like to raise consumer awareness of the secured loan market, the average customer knows what the following products are and how to apply for them; Unsecured, Credit Card, HP, Mortgages, even Pay Day, yet they are largely unaware of a secured loan and how to apply for one. Lenders and brokers need to work closer together to change this through all forms of media advertising.

How do you think regulation will change the industry over the next 12 months?

In my opinion, it shouldn’t have that bigger impact, what the second charge market is going through is what the first charge market has already gone through, and continues to go through, almost annually. Regulation is something to be embraced not feared and is there to protect the consumer at the end of the day, not to prohibit brokers from completing deals.

If you could be one superhero, who would it be and why?

I think I would choose to be a superhero like Batman, who doesn’t have superpowers per se, but relies on the right tools to get the job done. He also gets to drive the Batmobile which I would love to take for a spin.

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

As the market gathers pace there are new entrants coming in all the time and unless the market starts to grow its consumer awareness, there is a change that the market will get saturated and the business cannibalised rather than the market growing and everyone having the levels of business they’re after, which could strangle new entrants into the market if they can’t get the lead volumes required.


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