Try Mortgage Network teams up with UnderwriteMe

Try Mortgage Network teams up with UnderwriteMe

The platform will be fully integrated into TMN’s client relationship management (CRM) provider, One Mortgage System (OMS).

Ian Merriman, head of recruitment at TMN, said: “UnderwriteMe’s Protection Platform allows our members to obtain underwritten quotes from multiple insurers for multiple products by completing one set of questions, saving our members, and clients, time and money.

“The system also offers a Defaqto comparison to gain more insight and to assist with compliance, while advisers are also able to go straight to application without re-keying data. It’s a vital tool for us and our business writers to ensure good customer outcomes.”

John Revill, sales development manager at UnderwriteMe, said that the protection platform was “growing rapidly, with more firms registering to use the platform on a daily basis”.

He added: “The uptake of the platform over the last few years has been great to see, and to add Try Mortgage Network to that list is testament to that growth.

“We’re proud to add TMN [to] the list of our partners, and with the OMS integration, we’re now able to place the protection platform in the heart of the advice process. This now makes it even easier to use and benefit from the real-time underwriting the Protection Platform offers. We look forward to working with Try Mortgage Network and their advisers to realise the full value the Protection Platform offers.”

Neal Jannels, managing director at OMS, added: “The integration of UnderwriteMe last December into our platform was implemented exactly because of such feedback from our users, who found them a fantastic option for their brokers to help them convert more protection business.”

Yorkshire Building Society calls for govt action with five pledges

Yorkshire Building Society calls for govt action with five pledges

The “Opportunities for Government” include helping first-time buyers by building new, green homes, upping the personal savings allowance, financial education for all primary school children in England, building a pipeline of high-quality skilled jobs outside London and helping mutuals and co-operatives grow.

The lender said that these have been communicated to MPs, and they are being shared in its regular meetings and events with politicians.

On the first-time buyer front, Yorkshire Building Society said that the UK housing market is “broken” and the supply of homes for purchase and rent is not meeting the population’s need.

The lender urged the government to “introduce policies that provide a place to call home: support the provision of new, sustainable homes, help people to make their homes sustainable and help first-time buyers onto the housing ladder”.

Yorkshire Building Society said that personal savings allowance limits were “no longer protecting ordinary savers’ interests”, and this has not been reviewed since 2016. It called on this to be increased from £1,000 to £5,000.

The mutual also urged financial education to be offered at primary school so children have good financial management skills and develop healthy financial habits.

The firm also urged the government to work with the financial and professional services sector, regional combined authorities and education organisations to “collectively address the skills challenges the sector faces”.


Govt ‘must build a level playing field for mutual organisations’

Yorkshire Building Society added that the government must support a “thriving mutual and co-operative sector” and “must build a level playing field for mutual organisations” and create a role for a minister for the mutual sector.

Susan Allen (pictured), chief executive of Yorkshire Building Society, said: “Our customers continue to face challenges such as the affordability of housing, higher mortgage rates and cost-of-living pressures.

“As a mutual, we are owned by our members and are committed to supporting them and helping them achieve important life goals.

“Supporting homeownership is at the heart of who we are as a building society. I welcome the government’s commitment to housebuilding, but they must ensure the homes of the future are sustainable and help first-time buyers onto the housing ladder.

“Our research shows that, if the government makes improvements in the areas we’ve highlighted, it will make a real difference to people’s lives. Building a habit of saving regularly and owning a home can significantly improve people’s financial and mental wellbeing .”

Exclusive: Quilter brings on Jenson as regional director of mortgage network

Exclusive: Quilter brings on Jenson as regional director of mortgage network

In her role, Jenson will be responsible for recruiting and onboarding mortgage and protection advisers for Quilter’s mortgage network and will report to Charlotte Nixon, proposition and distribution director at Quilter Financial Planning.

Jenson joins from Primis Mortgage Network, where she worked as a regional sales director for around six years. Before that, she was a regional director at Intrinsic Financial Services for nearly six years.

She also worked as a regional sales manager at Personal Touch Financial Services for almost two years and was a sales manager at Legal and General for around 15 years.

Nixon said: “We’re really pleased to welcome Victoria back to the team. She played a pivotal role in driving business when she was previously with us over six years ago. In her new role, she will help us further grow our mortgage network so more advisers have access to our market-leading proposition.

“This hire is the next step in the considerable investment we have made into growing our mortgage network. We remain committed to bringing new advisers into the industry and helping them progress in the profession.”

Jenson added: “I’m incredibly excited to be re-joining Quilter Financial Planning. Its flexible and broad proposition make it a great home for advisers, whatever route they want to take their careers in. I am looking forward to helping advisers take advantage of the many benefits of being part of Quilter’s mortgage network.”

Quilter has been growing its team, hiring Craig Ross as its adviser propositions head earlier this year.

Top 10 most read mortgage broker stories this week – 12/07/2024

Top 10 most read mortgage broker stories this week – 12/07/2024

Mortgage Solutions’ exclusive reporting that Brad Fordham will take on the role of interim managing director of home buying and ownership was among most read by brokers this week, along with our interview with Mark Bullard about NatWest’s plan going forward.

Insight from Rob Oliver outlining why brokers should examine the expat market also proved popular with broker readers.


Exclusive: Fordham steps up as NatWest’s interim MD of home buying and ownership

NatWest is evolving BDM teams and looking at BTL, new build and large loans


Hobbs to become CEO of New Leaf Distribution


Watch the video highlights from the British Mortgage Awards 2024


Virgin launches retrofit mortgages with up to £15k cashback


MAOE 2024: Nearly a fifth of mortgage administrators work overtime every day


Metro Bank revisits mortgage portfolio sale – report


‘Decisive reform’ needed in planning system, Chancellor Reeves says


Nationwide lowers fixed rates; Santander updates product transfer policy – round-up



Why brokers should be looking at the expat market – Oliver

HTB adds four to bridging team

HTB adds four to bridging team

Nathan Wilson joins HTB as a senior underwriter for its bridging team and will build relationships with key partners and help the division grow its business volume and develop new products.

Wilson has spent the last 10 years at United Trust Bank (UTB) and was the first winner of the Benson Hersch Memorial Bursary from the Bridging and Development Lenders Association.

Olivia Colmer Lunch will take on the role of senior lending manager for bridging, in which she will oversee the processing team and manage communication between sales and underwriting within the department.

She has worked at HTB for around five years, initially joining as a loan administrator and working her way up to lending manager.

Ella Hosier will be a lending manager for bridging and Barry Ireland will be a business development manager (BDM) for the South East and Midlands in the bridging division.

Hosier was formerly at MT Finance as a case manager for around two years, and before that, she was at Masthaven Bank for around four years.

Ireland was most recently at Castle Trust Bank for around two years, and before that, he was a BDM at Apex Bridging for around a year.

Jamie Jolly, director of bridging at HTB, said: “A very warm welcome to Nathan, Olivia, Ella and Barry, a huge amount of talent, quality and experience joining the bridging team here at HTB.

“We constantly strive to be better and have strong lines of communication with our broker partners; we listen to feedback and we act on it. Having access to commercially minded and proactive teams is crucial.

“We’ve established a terrific reputation within the bridging market for providing a peerless level of service, and that’s because of our people.”

He added: “With the addition of Nathan, Olivia, Ella and Barry, we are continuing to build out a dedicated team of bridging specialists, enabling us to deliver for an even greater number of brokers and borrowers.

“Growing demand for bridging finance needs to be matched with lenders that can grow effortlessly too, with the right people, and these four new recruits are how we’ll do just that.”

The firm has been growing its team, appointing Anthony Gorman as BDM for the North in its bridging team.

Inspired Lending enters Scottish market

Inspired Lending enters Scottish market

Inspired Lending was launched in November last year by Gavin Diamond (pictured), former CEO of specialist lender Spring Finance.

It is a joint venture with the Pears family, and the firm offers unregulated bridging, refurbishment finance and bespoke short-term funding solutions.

The firm offers loan facilities up to £5m secured against residential, commercial, semi-commercial and industrial properties.

As part of its move into the Scottish market, the firm has recently appointed Scotland-based solicitor Wilson McKendrick.

Diamond said: “It has always been our intention to lend in Scotland and, having seen how well our products and service have gone down in England and Wales, we felt now is the ideal time to launch to the Scottish market.

“We’re looking forward to working closely with Allan McKendrick and the rest of the team at Wilson McKendrick as brokers in Scotland take advantage of our simple and speedy bespoke funding solutions.”

Coventry BS cuts fixed residential rates; Aldermore launches deals – round-up

Coventry BS cuts fixed residential rates; Aldermore launches deals – round-up

The lender said that fixed residential rates have been reduced by up to 0.18% and BTL rates have been decreased by up to 0.15%.

Two-, three- and five-year fixed residential rates are available between 65% and 95% loan to value (LTV).

Highlights of fixed residential rate cuts include its five-year fixed remortgage rate at 75% LTV with no fee at 4.61% with the choice of £350 cashback or use of the lender’s remortgage transfer service.

The lender also offers a two-year fixed rate with no fee at 65% LTV for BTL purchase at 5.35%.

Jonathan Stinton, head of intermediary relationships at Coventry Building Society, said: “Markets have continued to be favourable, and we aim to make it as easy as possible for our intermediary partners to source and secure a new deal for their clients. That’s why our latest rate reductions give brokers a wider range of attractive options to make sure they can get their clients the best deal possible.”

The lender last lowered select residential and BTL fixed rates by up to 0.21% at the end of June.

Aldermore launches limited-edition BTL and residential fixed rates

Aldermore is bringing out limited-edition rates with deals in its BTL and residential ranges.

For individual and company landlords with single residential investment properties, the firm is adding a five-year fixed rate at 75% LTV with pricing from 4.99%.

The firm has also cut its five-year fixed rate at 65% LTV, with rates starting from 4.89%.

For a multi-property product for individual and company landlords with residential investment properties, there is a five-year fixed rate at 75% LTV with pricing from 4.89%.

The lender’s five-year fixed rate at 65% LTV has also been cut, with pricing beginning from 4.79%.

In its residential owner-occupier level 1 limited-edition range, products come with zero fees and all products are up to 80% LTV. Two-year fixed rates start from 5.79% and five-year fixed rates begin from 5.34%.

Mark Gordon, director of mortgages at Aldermore, said: “Whether you’re a landlord, a first-time buyer, or moving home, we’ll always do our utmost to support you at Aldermore. We’re pleased to make these rate reductions for a wide range of borrowers, enabling as many people as possible to go for it in life and business.”

NatWest is evolving BDM teams and looking at BTL, new build and large loans

NatWest is evolving BDM teams and looking at BTL, new build and large loans

Mark Bullard (pictured), head of intermediary sales at NatWest, said that the business had undergone a number of changes in the last 18 months, including field BDMs being more “true business development in their approach”, and increasing the number of colleagues in the intermediary phone teams.

He added that in answer to broker feedback about the importance of being responsive, NatWest had increased the number of colleagues supporting brokers on the phone, internally known as its business development adviser team.

“I always want to make sure that we are responsive. Whether a broker enquires via our website, live chat, on the phone or via one of our field-based BDMs, we can meet their needs,” he said.

Bullard noted that around half of the 23 field-based BDMs had joined the firm in the last 18 months, having been existing BDMs with other lenders. It currently has 50 telephony BDMs. He said there is a 50-strong team that deals with enquiries coming in from brokers and administrators post-application.

He noted that the changes had been made, but he wants to “continue to evolve and improve what we do today by working hand in hand with our digital offering and technology to support the broker and what our brokers need”.

Bullard said that NatWest was looking to expand its BTL, new-build and larger loan propositions, the latter through NatWest and its Coutts proposition.

“We have definitely got [an] appetite to move the dial on those propositions from where we are today to where we need to get to tomorrow to support brokers and their customers.”

BDMs need to be ‘good translators’

When asked what he is looking for in terms of a BDM, he highlighted “brilliant questioning skills” and the need to be “good translators”.

“I’m conscious from a broker perspective that they could deal with 50 to 70 lenders in any given year, and actually the translation part comes from that BDM being able to translate what we do at NatWest, and how that benefits the broker and their customer around nuances of our proposition.

“The other part comes from, once you understand that, working in tandem with the broker firm on where the broker firm wants to go. How we can work together with them for [the] mutual benefit of them and their customers, deliver that, review that and see how we improve further – for the benefit of the lender, the broker, and the customer,” Bullard added.

“I think listening to what a broker firm wants is a better way to understand than going through a list of USPs that we can do as a lender, because some of those may not be relevant to that broker and the types of customers they support,” he added.

Bullard said that, overall, brokers welcomed the “experience and quality” that NatWest has brought in, in terms of field-based BDMs, but there can be an “element of tension” around the change of a relationship.

“In some cases, the BDMs and relationships have changed, as well as the support we offer, being more responsive to the broker demand through our telephony teams.

“The brokers that use us love what we do, but like many lenders, we want more brokers to use us.”

Bullard said that its net promoter score (NPS) was in the high 80s, which means that it is doing a “good job”, but there is always more that could be done.

“Some of that will come through consistency, of brokers getting a great experience from us again and again. And of course, us continuing to listen, evolve and respond to brokers’ needs as our propositions evolve,” he said.


‘Use us, trust us and, if you haven’t already, definitely try us’ and give feedback

Bullard said that, on the technology side, there had been a “very successful transition” from its old broker platform to a new one.

“Feedback has been fabulous from brokers about that change. We were able to listen to broker feedback on our old platform and ensure the new one created a better experience.

“It’s a really good foundation for us to build from, so that’s been a really solid foundation to what we’re trying to do,” he added.

Another aspect that the lender is doing is presenting its proposition and credit appetite in a way that “allows the broker to self-serve”. It has done this by investing time in developing content on its intermediary website and creating hubs around customer and product segments.

Bullard said that it was also working on making the journey as “seamless” as possible for brokers.

“Part of that is about the packaging requirements that are needed to support the application. As a lender, there’s so much that we can do from a technology perspective without actually seeing physical evidence because we can validate it in the background.

“What you can expect from us in the future is that technology will help and support that application, and we’ll therefore have to ask for a lot less information that we do today,” he said.

Bullard said that the firm was “not there yet, but we definitely want to get there”, as he acknowledged that the broker wants certainty of its appetite to lend and to get their customers a mortgage offer.

When asked what he would want brokers to know about NatWest, Bullard said: “I would say try us, use us, trust us and give us feedback.

“The team are really responsive. They really understand the broker and your clients’ needs, they’ll know whether we have appetite for that case or if there is a challenge, they’re responsive to that and know how to deal with it.

“I think brokers definitely want ownership and I’m challenging my team to take ownership and resolve, but the team can only do that and brokers experience that if brokers try us and trust us.”


Mark Bullard, head of intermediary sales at NatWest

Mark has over 34 years in financial services and retail banking, and the last 20 years have been spent in a variety of leadership roles within intermediary distribution for NatWest. He is responsible for the business development roles and telephony support staff that support the end-to-end intermediary journey.


NatWest has partnered with the British Mortgage Awards this year to celebrate the mortgage sector’s standout and most excellent members. As part of the partnership, Mortgage Solutions will be publishing a series of interviews with NatWest’s mortgage team to discuss best practice and the importance of working together for the good of the sector’s shared customers.

This year’s British Mortgage Awards took place on 4 July – find out who this year’s winners are here and watch a recap of the evening here. The photos of the night have also been uploaded here.

The question of regulation in the unregulated space – Noone

The question of regulation in the unregulated space – Noone

This can be for a multitude of reasons, such as an over-estimated gross development value (GDV) project, decreasing end values or a build cost that has spiralled. Most cases appear linked to poor advice or no advice at all. After all, if it’s unregulated, who cares, right? Wrong.

What strikes me is the willingness of clients to have offered their home as security for business purposes, and the poor advice that led to it from unregulated brokers or clients who approached lenders directly.

I ask, is it time for business-purpose second charges to be given with advice via Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) brokers only?

The use of someone’s home for any purpose should be given careful consideration, taking into account a client’s entire financial situation, rather than the “we just ask 18 questions and your first month’s interest is free”, which treats homeowner borrowing as a low-risk gimmick, similar to a lower-risk credit card or loan, and packaging as ‘business only’ without advice, which can place clients at serious risk of financial harm – something Consumer Duty was introduced to prevent.

Why should FCA-regulated brokerages be held to a different service and compliance standard than unregulated brokerages, yet we use the same lenders and work in the same spaces?

Our industry is composed of outstanding advisers, lenders and packagers who, on the whole, work for the clients’ best interest. However, a retail client, a homeowner, a new investor, an inexperienced developer or self-employed trader deserve protection when using their family home as collateral, as when things go wrong, they really go wrong. The client has little recourse, as it’s unregulated.

Lenders have a role to play. There are over 300 bridging lenders in the UK, which is more than the number of approved main-market mortgage lenders. Why does the minnow of UK lending (by comparison to main mortgages) have so much unregulated interest? I’ll let the reader ponder that point.

Any product we offer as advisers or industry professionals must have the client’s best interest central to what we do. A world in which some brokers or lenders are regulatory-bound to act properly (with criminal consequences for not doing so), but others are not, is not one that builds trust or centralises the client.

With a changing market and squeezed pipelines, is it time everyone was held to account, equally?

Watch the video highlights from the British Mortgage Awards 2024

Watch the video highlights from the British Mortgage Awards 2024

More than 600 people across the mortgage industry attended the event, with Alison Pallett, sales director at Nottingham Building Society, being awarded the Bharat Sagar Lifetime Achievement Award.

Congratulations to all those who were shortlisted and to our winners.

Click to see the full list of winners, along with picture highlights from the night.