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Rising Star: Amy Cliffe, Vernon BS

  • 26/04/2024
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Rising Star: Amy Cliffe, Vernon BS
Mortgage Solutions’ Rising Star feature spotlights people who have been working in the mortgage sector for less than three years.

This week, Mortgage Solutions is speaking with Amy Cliffe, intermediary mortgage desk adviser at Vernon Building Society. 



What does your role entail and how long have you been doing it? 

I began my role as an intermediary mortgage desk adviser at Vernon Building Society in November 2023. My day-to-day role entails being the first point of contact for mortgage intermediaries and developing effective relationships, processing new registrations, accessing decisions in principle (DIPs) and processing procuration fees. I’m also responsible for the accuracy of our lending products on sourcing systems. 


What attracted you to working in the mortgage/property/finance sector? 

I didn’t go to university and after finishing college; I had no idea what I wanted to do as a career. At the time, I was working part time at Primark, knowing I wanted a change, but not what that change was. The opportunity came for a role in financial services in savings in March 2020. In February 2022, while in this role, I was given the opportunity to join a broker programme that involved contacting brokers to re-establish a relationship. This was when I realised that I wanted to enter the mortgage world, but I wanted to be more involved in the case from start to finish. This is where the opportunity to join our local building society as an intermediary mortgage adviser came up, and I have loved it ever since. I love working in such a challenging industry and being an important part of the property chain. 


What were you doing in the five years before starting here?

I had finished college and was working part-time at Primark before I started my first role as a customer service specialist at Yorkshire Building Society in March 2020. While I was there, I was involved in saving account openings, became the home insurance champion, and also joined the Accord mortgages broker programme, which was my first experience in the mortgage sector. Before this, I had never even heard of a ‘mortgage broker’. 


What personal talent/skill is most valuable in doing your job? 

One of my favourite things to do is bake, which requires the ability to use your initiative and pay attention to detail, which is a key part of my role. I liaise with various internal and external clients on a daily basis, and a lot of my work revolves around ‘non-standard’ cases that require a lot of initiative to make work. 


What personal talent/skill would you most like to improve on? 

I would like to understand company accounts better for the self-employed. Once I have completed my CeMAP qualification, I plan to take a self-study accountancy course to further my knowledge in this area. 


How has the pandemic changed the way you approach your job? 

My first experience in the financial sector was a week before the pandemic occurred. I didn’t have to adjust to a ‘new’ normal in the industry, as this was my normal. It made me realise the challenging nature of the industry I was entering into. A lot of people’s lives have drastically changed since the pandemic, especially people’s finances and ability to apply for a mortgage. 


What is the most interesting/memorable property deal/case you’ve been involved in? 

A broker approached us with a local applicant who was looking to buy a residential property. The property was an old police station converted into a block of flats and had been declined by various other lenders due to its proximity to commercial premises and non-standard construction. We liaised with our valuers on various occasions, and we were happy to offer the mortgage. We took the time to understand the situation fully and make the case work, where various other lenders had failed. It was so nice to be able to do that, especially for someone local. 


Where do you see yourself in five years’ time? 

Hopefully, with my own residential property, fully qualified in my CeMAP and completing further studying to advance in my career such as a CERAR, AML or accountancy course. 


If present-day you could go back in time and tell yourself something five years ago, what would it be? 

Get on the property ladder as early as possible and fix the rate for as long as you can, because a pandemic is coming, and rates are going to increase drastically.


If you could have one superpower, what would it be? 

It would be that anytime I want to buy something, I always have the correct amount of money in my pocket to do so. 


And finally, what’s the strangest question you’ve ever been asked? 

Nothing to do with mortgages but I was once asked by a friend: “Would you rather have the power to stop time or to reverse time?” and it’s the first ‘would you rather’ that I’ve been asked that I still don’t know the answer to. 

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