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In the Spotlight with Graham Donald of Equiniti Pancredit

In the Spotlight with Graham Donald of Equiniti Pancredit

Loan Talk caught up with Graham Donald, managing director of Equiniti Pancredit, to find out more about how it is helping brokers and lenders update its technology.

1. What is your role at Equiniti Pancredit and what does it consist of? 

As managing director of the Equiniti Pancredit I am responsible for the overall performance of the company. One of my key roles is to guide the growth and development of Equiniti Pancredit, driving its expansion into new markets and sectors. Our goal is to help banks, financial institutions, intermediaries and commercial lenders champion responsible lending, raise organisational efficiency, cut costs and enhance the service experience of end-users.

2. What is your previous experience?

My previous roles include commercial manager at HML, COO at Communications Direct and regional director at Lloyds TSB. I also ran my own consultancy providing bespoke courses on behalf of training providers to companies such as BUPA, First Group and Alcatel Lucent.

3. Why have so many brokers and lenders updated their technology in the past year?

FCA-led changes in regulation have had a huge impact on the industry. Fortunately, technology platforms such as ours have been purpose-built to help brokers and lenders adjust to the changes. Earlier this year, for example, brokers risked losing the ability to call themselves ‘independent’ unless they began to offer both first and second charge mortgages. By embracing new technologies, however, brokers are now able to compare an applicant’s lending profile to their firm’s entire portfolio, including those that have been integrated quickly in response to regulation. This is something that, until now, has been practically impossible for brokers to achieve.

4. What makes a good sourcing system? 

An effective sourcing system should improve the customer journey, enhance operations and help lenders and brokers champion responsible lending. For too long the performance of large brokers has been bogged down by paperwork and limited by the knowledge of their individual advisers. Our systems match clients credit profiles with loan products that they can afford and are likely to be granted. This enables lenders to ‘hardwire’ responsible lending into their systems, satisfying one of the key demands of the FCA. By digitising and automating the manual processes involved in underwriting, brokers are also able to become more efficient to support the increase in volume of applications. Doing away with all the paper-based work that brokers need to do during the application process can speed up their operations enormously, improving the service experience of customers and releasing huge amounts of time that was dedicated to administration. This time can then be spent performing higher-value work.

5. Do you think the sourcing market is overcrowded? If so, why?

Yes and no. Certainly there are plenty of sourcing solutions in the market, but not all are developing their propositions quickly enough to provide the level of service that the sector needs. The market conditions are changing fast and lenders need a partner that can help them respond to these changes in order to stay ahead of the market.

6. What do you think there is a gap in the market for?

Blended service offerings that offer more than ‘just the tech’ are really starting to appeal. Larger lenders, for example, are seeking experienced personnel, FCA-compliant processes and industry best practices, all wrapped up in a single managed service offering. By working to this model, they can minimise their time-to-revenue for new products, and refocus internal resources on innovation and market differentiation, safe in the knowledge that many of their operational requirements are already met. This enables them to start thinking about making smarter use of their data, for example, or generating a single view of the customer that can lead to the development of new products and services.

7. What exciting developments can we expect to see from Equiniti Pancredit this year?

We are working very closely with our sister companies in the Equiniti Group in order to provide lenders and brokers with an outsourced service offering that suits the dynamics of today’s market. We’re in a great position to do this, too. Equiniti is made up of specialist firms that operate in this market and can collectively provide the people, processes and tools our customers need to establish competitive advantage. At a time when lenders budgets are being squeezed and their operations closely scrutinised, a blended managed service offering where each component is provided by a specialist, offered as a single contract, is becoming very compelling indeed.

8. How has Equiniti Pancredit grown since your arrival?  

I joined Equiniti Pancredit as a director in 2013 and took over from company founder Peter Constance as managing director in 2014. Since then we’ve made a number of growth announcements. In March 2014, we reported 34% year-on-year revenue growth in FY2013 and last year we announced 38% year-on-year revenue growth in FY2014. We’ve also made a number of significant hires during that time and expanded our headcount by a third. Now we’re part of the Equiniti Group, we’re really starting to spread our wings.

9. Do you think there needs to be more education about sourcing systems? 

Absolutely. Lenders and brokers need to learn more about how sourcing systems can benefit their businesses; the market is moving fast and gains really are significant. On the technology side, more education at the grassroots level would also be welcomed so developers can move into the industry with the right skills. Loan applicants could also benefit from more knowledge of how automated systems are helping their service experience. A level of uncertainty remains around how credit profiles are accessed and used; not enough people appreciate that the technologies are finding the perfect product for their circumstances, saving them both time and the frustration of reapplying several times before a loan is granted. 

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