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Hampden and Co CEO: ‘We’re keen to meet with mortgage brokers’

  • 06/10/2022
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Hampden and Co CEO: ‘We’re keen to meet with mortgage brokers’
Graeme Hartop, CEO of Hampden and Co, has said the private bank is open to engaging more with mortgage intermediaries as it prepares to expand business further.

The bank is still on track to deliver its first full-year profit Hartop said in an interview with Mortgage Solutions and named its mortgage proposition as a key driver for this growth. 

“We see it as a very integral and important part of our overall offering,” Hartop said. 

The private bank primarily caters to high-net-worth individuals with a bespoke touch, through its offering of self-build, retirement, residential, complex buy-to-let and family mortgages alongside a wider range of other banking facilities. 

Hartop said the bank was “building a lot of relationships at the moment” and had been well-received by brokers so far. He also said the recent appointment of Hannah Berridge as head of professional partnerships was also a sign of its commitment to the intermediary sector. 


Ready for growth 

Hartop said the bank was “keen to meet with mortgage brokers”, adding that the level of business coming through this part of the market was good but there was an opportunity for more growth. 

In its half-year results, the bank said lending introduced by advisers and intermediaries, including mortgage brokers, wealth managers, solicitors and other professionals grew by 30 per cent to £100m.    

Hampden currently has relationships with around 20 mortgage advice firms. 

Acknowledging that the high net worth market was a relatively smaller segment, Hartop said the typically higher loan amounts required by these borrowers opened the possibility of expansion from a volume perspective. 

Hartop said its bespoke offering, understanding of high net worth individuals and its product suite made the lender stand out. 

“Quite a number of our clients have very complex affairs. But we’re able to look at a proposition in a way that I think some of the bigger banks can’t,” he added. 

Hartop said this was a “key factor” of its offering, particularly in the height of the pandemic when many banks had issues with their call centres. 


Serving borrower needs 

Speaking on the boom of its mortgage offering, Hartop said demand for Hampden’s self build range, which was launched in 2021 and closed with a loan book value of £3.6m in H1, was driven by a “natural part of what these high net worth clients are looking for”. 

He also said self build mortgages helped to address some of the issues facing the housing sector such as a lack of supply, limited availability of desired housing and good quality developments. 

As for its retirement mortgages, Hartop said the proposition was mostly being used by borrowers who wanted to use it as a financial planning tool. 


Evolving with the market 

Hartop said while Hampden was a “private bank focused on high-net-worth individuals” and their wider families, it also looked to serve the needs of smaller commercial businesses for their banking requirements. 

Looking ahead, he said Hampden would “look to evolve what we have on offer and as markets develop, that is something we’ll keep a close eye on”. 

Hartop said the bank had a very strong board and governance, so any changes to its offering would be “carefully looked at” before launching. 

Despite the “economic turmoil” seen in recent months, Hartop said wealth in the country had grown over time and this could be reflected in the size of this part of the mortgage market. 

He added: “I see that area of the market [high-net-worth individuals] really being a very attractive place for us and expect that to continue to grow. But what we will do is continue looking at developments.  

“Retirement mortgages is a good example of that, where it’s still not a huge level of volume in the UK marketplace, but there are more people looking to use that asset, so it potentially will become a much bigger market.” 


Wider economic uncertainty 

Hartop said Hampden’s strong deposit base gave it a stable funding source, protecting it from the market’s current uncertainties, adding: “It has not caused us any major issues at this point in time”. 

He said while its client base would feel some of the impacts of the rising cost of living, interest rates and other wider economic changes they tended to be able to handle variations in their finances. 

Overall, Hartop said Hampden was very “consistent” about the type of business it wanted as it fit its long-term view. 

In the future, Hartop said he wanted the bank to “continue to grow very well” although he noted it had taken longer to reach profitability than first thought when it launched in 2015. 

“The biggest reason for that being the ultra-low interest rate environment that we’ve experienced over that time. But we’re now in a very good position, just moving into profitability. So it’s about continuing to grow that business and to grow our reputation. 

“It’s very important for us to really develop these relationships in the professional sector, whether it’s mortgage intermediaries or lawyers and accountants. And we expect to see that really fuelling our growth over the next five years or so,” he said. 

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