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In the Spotlight with Sonny Gosai of Clever Lending

In the Spotlight with Sonny Gosai of Clever Lending

Loan Talk caught up with Sonny Gosai, Sales & Operations Manager at Clever Lending to find out more on its preparations for MCD...

1. What does your role at Clever Lending involve and when did you start working there?

I have been at Clever Lending from the beginning which was last year.  I was brought in to help set up the company using my past experiences and knowledge.  I am responsible for the running of the operation – ensuring that Clever Lending is running smoothly and all aspects of the company are working in tandem to provide a unique broker and consumer experience.  Clever Lending has a great team overall and I would like to commend the staff that work on the frontline providing the service our brokers and their clients require. 

2. What is your past experience before Clever Lending?

I have been working in the second charge industry for many years. I began working for an old friend of Loan Talks – Tony Sutton - many years ago which put me in good stead to understand the industry.  I have previously set up and managed one of the former Brilliant Loans offices based in Cheltenham although during the crunch due to cuts like many in the industry, I took some time out of the industry to manage a debt collections company.  Those that have experienced this will understand debt collection is not easy but I am glad I am back where my heart is.

3. What exciting plans do you have in 2016 for secured loans at Clever Lending?

We recently announced the move into bridging and commercial finance and these areas of our business will continue to grow in the coming months.

On secured loans, were really looking to the future and making sure all our systems are ready for the regulatory and process changes that lie ahead. Weve made great progress with these already and its encouraging to see the positive feedback weve already had from our brokers and the lenders we work with.

We have some exciting announcements coming soon and well be well positioned to handle the increasing levels of business as we move into the autumn.

4. How will regulation affect secured loans in 2015?

Brokers, lenders and packagers are already gearing up for the changes in March 2016. However, a lot of the groundwork on planning for the new regulation will need to take place by the end of the year.

The FCA has already stated that the new process can be implemented early, as soon as companies are ready from 21st September. So this year there will be seminars, roadshows and education for not only the changes themselves but how its going to be done. Therell be significant investment this year in technology and updating processes, particularly when considering how to handle pipeline business as we move into 2016. Its quite a commitment and Clever Lending are at the forefront of knowledge and were already working closely with many business partners gearing up for the changes to bring the secured loans process in line with mortgages.

5. What would you ban in the secured loans industry?

I would like to ban the stigma that for so long has been attached to the secured loans industry.  We come across many brokers who still see us as an untrustworthy industry full of sharks.  This is further from the truth.  It still amazes me that brokers have not realised that we are here to provide their customer with some unbelievable products and solutions that can only help their clients and enhance their own businesses.  Education is key and the more we keep banging the drum, the more recognition we will receive.  We as an industry have gone to great measures to ensure brokers know the benefits our industry has to offer and we will continue to do so.

6. What is more important and why - rates or service?

One is not more important than the other, they go hand-in-hand.  We ensure that we provide our introducers and consumers with the highest service possible and part of that service is to ensure that the consumer is provided with the best possible rate on the market specific to them.   I believe that to provide a good service you will naturally provide the rates that are specific to each client. 

7. What do you think there is a lack of in the secured loans market?

Awareness! Secured loans can be used in so many circumstances and in some cases its a real option when compared with other forms of lending. There are still great opportunities for brokers to propose secured loans for their clients for an increasing number of uses, particularly in the current low mortgage rate environment. When clients are looking for quick funding over the longer term they certainly should be considering a secured loan. There are plenty of product options out there!

8. If you could have any other job, what would it be and why?

I would love to be a chef.  I love spending time in the kitchen.  I find it very therapeutic and I think I am pretty good at rustling up a meal worthy of a Michelin-starred restaurant!!! My wife may say otherwise.   I spent some time selling my famous curries to previous work colleagues and created a tidy side business. 

9. Do you think the secured loans market is too crowded?

Not at all. There are more secured loan products on the market than ever before and their use is growing for debt consolidation, home improvements and buy-to-let. All these sectors are all still opening up new opportunities for brokers and lenders, particularly in the property sector where were seeing people improving their property and landlords using secured loans to grow their portfolio.

10. Who in the market do you think are the 'ones to watch' in 2016 (rising brokers, exciting new developments etc)?

Clever Lending of course!!!  We wish to be a major part of this exciting industry.  Technology is going to be the rising star in 2016 – with everyone aiming to create or enhance their systems from brokers to lenders in readiness for 2016.   

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