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Do you expect to see less or more second charge mortgage lenders in 2018?

What a first year


It’s been just over a year since United Trust Bank (UTB) went public with its second charge loan offering and the progress we’ve made in just 12 short months has been staggering, even if I do say so myself.

The mortgages team has grown from a small group of three to a fully fledged team of 16, our lending volumes have exceeded what we already thought were stretching targets and the response from the mortgage broker community to our products and service has been overwhelmingly positive. 

We thought long and hard about the approach we’d take to our pricing strategy and lending criteria. We wanted to ensure that we added true value to our introducers by widening the product solutions available to their customers, rather than just simply entering the market with very low rates to get an initial foothold. The loans we have completed have performed very strongly, and we are confident that we have a fantastic operational and IT base on which to begin launching new mortgage products in the future.

For me though, our biggest achievement of the last year was the way we handled the transition of Mortgage Credit Directive (MCD). The feedback we received from our introducers was all positive, with their experience being a seamless IT transition complimented by clear communication and good on-site training. As a result, MCD provided a springboard allowing us to really show what UTB are capable of within the specialist mortgage market far quicker than we otherwise could have. Some other lenders did not necessarily enjoy the ease of transition that we did, and while I had a few sleepless nights in the lead up, the mortgage team and everyone at the bank did a superb job. It was around the time of the implementation of MCD when our business really got into top gear and we’ve not looked back since. I’d like to thank the 20 or so carefully chosen master brokers we work with for supporting our new venture over the last year and I’d particularly like to thank the even smaller band that helped us through our pilot phase. I know from personal experience that it takes a leap of faith to take your business to somewhere new and untested and we still really appreciate the help we received in taking UTB mortgages from an idea to a reality.

One of the advantages of growing the team is that it’s given Jigar Patel, our key accounts manager, time to get out and meet the people who place cases with us. He’s had some great feedback on his visits to master brokers such as Loans Warehouse and Ocean Finance, where he talked advisers through our proposition and provided on-site underwriting support. Sometimes introducers are surprised at the broad range of cases we will accept. Not only because we’re less worried about credit scoring than many of our competitors, but also because we’ll lend on many different types of properties from traditional build to concrete and timber-framed constructions. Jig also really enjoyed meeting many new brokers at the recent Specialist Lending Roadshows in the Midlands and the South West. The bank is keen to develop its range of lending products and the whole business development team enjoyed engaging with brokers from across the UK.

In other news, I’m delighted that Jo Edwards joined the UTB family. Jo’s track record at Nemo is outstanding and with her knowledge and experience, she’s making a big impact on the mortgage and bridging team and more widely across the bank.

Finally, in the last couple of weeks we’ve won a personal finance award for best second charge mortgage lender and learned that we’ve been shortlisted for four Loan Talk Awards. We’ll be keeping our fingers crossed for those, but whether we win or lose we know we’ve had an extraordinary first year.

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