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

Naughty or nice?

As the nights draw in and Jack Frost begins to nip at my toes, my thoughts can’t help but turn to Christmas and the end of the year. This year has been an important one for me personally, as it’s my first full year with Prestige Finance. So like many others, (albeit a little younger than myself), I can’t help but think how would I fare on Father Christmas’ naughty or nice list?

When I joined Prestige at the end of 2014, I set myself some clear objectives: over-delivering on our key partner relationships, capitalising on our unique position of being part of the OneSavings Bank family and offering market leading second charge loan propositions. With this in mind, could I expect a tangerine or a lump of coal in my stocking?

Product innovation was central to our success this year. They say, a change is as good as a rest, and with each new proposition introduced, we felt a real sense of renewed energy for Prestige. A big thank you must therefore go to our key partners whose feedback and insight were integral to the development and delivery of these new products and, in all honesty, without whom this wouldn’t have been possible.

Undoubtedly the biggest cause for concern from brokers was a need for products for their landlord clients that would enable them to release equity without restructuring their main portfolios and existing buy-to-let mortgages. This was the driving force behind our rethinking of our second charge lending propositions. We translated their feedback into market leading products, enabling our brokers to meet the varying needs of their clients more effectively. The response to these changes has been overwhelmingly positive and I am extremely proud of the relationship we have with our key partners. This has been, without doubt, the key to driving our business forward and, surely, enough to land me on the nice list?

But complacency doesn’t sit well with Father Christmas, or me, for that matter. So simply relying on broker feedback isn’t enough; there needs to be continual dialogue between our key partners and our specialist team of underwriters. All our underwriters can approve loans within their individual mandate. However, we understand that some deals can be more complicated than others, so in an effort to keep those lines of communication open, we also have a dedicated and efficient referrals service, as well as support from our roving underwriters. If we need to speak to someone to understand a deal better, we pick up the phone, it’s as simple as that.

Perhaps the most significant gift I have come to appreciate over the last year is the specialist lending expertise we can call on from the wider OneSavings Bank family. The shared resources, knowledge and expertise at the disposal of Prestige gives us a unique advantage and highlights the importance of the second charge market to the group.

I’ve also received an early present in the form of Tom Whitney, our new Business Development Manager. Tom has been an invaluable member of Prestige for some time, most recently as our roving underwriter, and I am looking forward to us both visiting our key partners in the New Year.

Like many others, I will have to wait until Christmas morning for my end of year review from Father Christmas, but I’m confident that I can look forward to a stocking full of treats as opposed to extra fuel for the fire.  

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