How many advisers and broker firms do you cover in your role?
I cover the Midlands for the Family Building Society. Since I joined from the Market Harborough BS earlier this year, where I had a similar role, I have visited over 200 mortgage broking firms on my patch.
How do you successfully organise and deal with business on a daily basis?
My 28 years of experience in the financial services industry has taught me the benefits of planning in advance. I keep a full diary for at least a fortnight ahead. I respond to all enquiries, be they email or voicemail in the same day. I keep a log of action points and liaise with my underwriting team on a daily basis at least. I like to start every day with a clean sheet.
What issues come up time and time again?
Family BS specialises in lending to those in and coming up to retirement, first-time buyers (FTBs) who wish to apply for our Family Mortgage with an LTV of up to 95%, as well as borrowers seeking interest-only, buy to let and expat mortgages. My role is to get these messages across to the market, unfamiliar with our new brand – we rebranded last December from National Counties. The biggest issue that comes up time and time again is brokers who are frustrated by the major lenders who just will not lend to those in retirement and to other non-mainstream cases.
What do you wish brokers understood about your job?
I wish they would understand that a BDM is here to add value and that his or her role is to get the best possible deal for the brokers’ clients. I tell them that I can speak to a decision maker at head office straightaway and have an immediate answer for the broker. This is just not the case with high street lenders.
What do you think is the most important attribute of a good BDM?
To add value. Also to be organised, knowledgeable and flexible. And deliver promptly on what you have promised.
When you’re unavailable to be contacted by telephone, what’s the second-best way for brokers to get in touch?
Email, followed by voicemail on my mobile phone and then a call to the new business team at Epsom, where we are based.
If you were head of the FCA for the day, what would you change about regulation in the mortgage industry?
Nothing. Recently there have been far too many changes in legislation, regulation and taxation concerning mortgages. What we need is a period of stability and consistency. Take buy to let, for example. No one knows the true impact of the recent tax changes.
What was your motivation for choosing business development as a career?
I have done just about everything in my career concerning lending and retail banking. I am motivated by excellence in customer service and achieving the best results for a grateful broker. That gives me great satisfaction.
How do you establish and maintain a good relationship with brokers?
Staying in touch and meeting regularly. I want them to know I am here to help. Also good manners insures the success of a relationship
And how do you establish and maintain good relationships internally?
The BDM team, headed by Cammy Amaira, meets quarterly at Epsom. I also have a weekly catch up with the top brass and as a team we dial in to a weekly conference call. Personally, I like treating others as I would like to be treated. We are in a people game and courtesy and respect is paramount.
What’s the strangest question you’ve ever been asked?
This made me smile; when my son Charlie was six years old he was playing in a local junior boys’ football team. As he did up his laces before a match he asked me, “When I am older may I play for Cosby Badgers (his junior team) AS WELL AS Manchester United?”
I replied, “Lad, you can do whatever you want!”.
And finally, what did you want to be growing up?
A professional footballer. I had trials with Leicester City and Coventry City and was offered a football scholarship in the USA. However, it was not a practical offer so I went to work at a bank. I really have enjoyed my career and the culmination is my role as a BDM for Family Building Society.