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In the Spotlight with Steve Walker of Promise Solutions

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In the Spotlight with Steve Walker of Promise Solutions

We sat down with Steve Walker of Promise Solutions Ltd to find out why he is still an underwriter at heart and what the future holds for the secured lending industry...

1) What exactly does Promise Solutions Ltd do? 

We support networks, clubs and individual brokers in making the most out of the secured loan opportunities they encounter. We offer the widest lender panel in the market, including some exclusive lenders and market leading products not available elsewhere. We provide introducers with the most accurate and complete sourcing and sales system free of charge backed by a hugely experienced packaging team. We also provide unique tools which help brokers to close the sale, better inform their clients and give them detailed records should they be challenged in the future. 

2) How long have you been at the company and what is your role?

I formed the company in 2003 and I am the owner and M.D. My role includes product development with emerging lenders, providing our IT systems to other brokers and promoting the company generally. This is in addition to general oversight and mucking in where necessary to make sure our service is top notch.

3) What do you see happening in the secured lending industry in the next 12 months?

I don’t see much consumer appetite returning to the market. However, provided we don’t have a double dip, I do think we will see more lenders enter the market and we are working with some at the moment to develop innovative products and systems. This will help brokers place more business.  Any growth in the sector will be driven by those in the industry innovating and doing more, particularly mortgage brokers and IFAs who are still shunning secured loans.

4) What is the best thing about your job?

I am still an underwriter at heart and I get a real buzz from tackling a particularly tricky deal and winning.

5) And the worst thing?

Hearing mortgage brokers say “I don’t get asked for secured loans” or “I don’t do secured loans so I tell clients I can’t help”. 

6) If you weren’t working at Promise Solutions what would you be doing?

 I would like to own a beach bar and water sports centre in the Caribbean which would allow me to indulge in my passions, which are singing and boating. 

7) What do you like to do on your weekends off?

During the summer I like to get away to the Welsh coast for boating, water skiing etc with the family. In the winter I am home-based and quite like to “potter about” or go for long walks around the most scenic areas locally.

8) What’s the biggest issue you have to deal with at the moment in the secured lending area?

Educating and enthusing those who have the capability to do so much more. I still believe that the mortgage intermediary sector is sitting on a secured loan gold mine. It is just beneath the surface but there is still a substantial percentage of the market who are not prepared to dig.

9) Where is your favourite destination in the world and why?

This might sound a little twee. I have always worked long hours and missed out on much of my children growing up. Now my boys are away at school. So whilst there are some great holiday destinations, the place I most like to be is on the sofa cuddling up with my family when the boys are home (I know – what a softy).

10) What was the most memorable case you have dealt with this year?

It was a case which involved a client who needed the money to pay off his ex-wife and transfer the property into his name. However his circumstances kept changing, including his income and credit status which resulted in changing lenders twice. We had charges and cautions everywhere and none of the parties, nor their solicitors, wanted to co-operate. It took nearly a year to get everyone on to the same page so the loan could complete. On the positive side, we never gave up. On the negative side, we definitely lost money on that one.



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