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Exclusive: Barclays’ Calder confirms recruitment drive and refocus of broker team

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  • 20/03/2018
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Exclusive: Barclays’ Calder confirms recruitment drive and refocus of broker team
The biggest broker misconception about Barclays is that the lender is risk-averse, intermediary director Craig Calder told Mortgage Solutions, as he introduced a brand new team to boost and develop relations with the advice market.

 

After a slew of criteria changes, Barclays is open for the types of business that may surprise brokers, who often view it as a lender for vanilla cases only, according to Calder.

Since the start of the year, the intermediary director has been busy putting a new team structure in place.

When recruitment is finished, the lender will have around 25 extra roles focused on intermediaries – and many will be working to shift outdated perceptions of Barclays.

Under the structure there are broadly two teams, designed to complement each other.

First, Sidney Wager heads up existing broker relationships, with an extra two regions – London and the North – added to the East and the West.

And David Rogers, head of intermediary business development, is leading a team to target four areas: the north, south, wealth, and new-build.

Calder explained: “There’s an opportunity to change the way Barclays is perceived in the market.”

And this is the task that essentially falls to Rogers and his team, who are working to telegraph what the lender is about today.

“We’re open for many more types of business then you might think we have been in the in past,” Calder explained.

He added: “We know brokers are a huge part of the market and a growing part of the market and we want to help in that growth.

“The biggest misconception of us is that we are risk-averse, we only like low LTV remortgage business – and that’s absolutely not the case.”

 

New relationships

 

Roger’s team are now looking to established relationships with brokers who have not dealt with Barclays for many years or never at all.

The new build market is particularly “crying out” for fresh support and Barclays is serious about being an alternative to the established players, Calder said.

He added: “We are as good now as the big incumbents in that space in terms of policy, underwriting, speed to offer and so on – this is a market we really want to be active in.”

Barclays is also making a big play for the wealth market.

Calder said: “A lot of people think the wealth market is just a London market – it’s not at all.

“Wealth is growing outside of London; you have a lot of expats in that wealth space who want to invest in property but don’t see London as the only place.”

Under the new structure, there will also be around six new telephony roles to provide support to brokers.

The new team coincides with a series of policy changes Barclays – with more in the offing – designed at broadening the lender’s reach.

Calder said: “This is about us developing into new markets, it’s not about saying we want to do less in the markets we’re currently good in – we want to grow those as well.”

 

New application system and preparing for open APIs

 

Barclays is currently rolling out a new application system, which takes around 20 mins to put together a joint application and 10-15 for a single one, according to Calder.

The lender is also working on its Application Programming Interface (API) strategy and has developed specs on how they would work when plugged into broker systems.

However, Calder pointed out a wider industry problem around creating many solutions for a number of brokers and firms.

He said: “Do lenders need to develop different APIs for different sized firms? Or do we come together as an industry, and do it once?

“My worry is it could be expensive for everybody and take too long to do.

“Whereas if you come together and create a common standard that makes it easier for our customer and easier for brokers – for me that seems like the best solution.”

It could be a job for UK Finance, the Financial Conduct Authority or just one of the existing technology providers, according to Calder.

He added: “I think that’s when you’ll get real traction on it and change the customer and broker experience much more quickly.

“If each lender develops its own set of APIs, you can guarantee one thing: we’ll all do it slightly differently.

“But if you can create the commonality, I think it will change the market much more quickly in terms of speed of decision, speed of processing, and ease for which a broker can advise a customer and save time for the broker and customer.”

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