Chetraru has been a broker with BTJ Mortgages for over a decade, building the business to become a top performer within her network. She is a passionate advocate for gender equality and diversity with the mortgage industry, and strives to build a culture of inclusivity within her business and the sector as a whole.
She is also is a proud Change Maker.
What initiative or project saw you nominated as a Change Maker?
As a woman in business, this has proved difficult as I have often felt undermined. I thought I would prove a point in my business by standing up to show how I have come from a Latvian background and built up a strong business with good positive people around me from different backgrounds, who go beyond their regular day-to-day role and who provide a positive change for their business, customers and the industry.
Why did this project mean so much to you?
Very much as above. I have built a multi-lingual team who are passionate about working to provide good customer service and fulfil the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) new Consumer Duty policy.
Why did you feel the industry needed such an initiative?
This industry is male dominated and it is good that women are pushing themselves forward in such a competitive industry. I think I am good example to my team that proves nothing is impossible.
How did you go about bringing the initiative to life?
I started over 10 years ago and have built up the company, BTJ Mortgages to where it stands today, as we are top performers within my network – Sesame SBG. This has all come from hard work, putting time into the business, and continuing to do so now with the help of a very well-trained team of administrators around me.
What were the challenges you faced?
Various challenges such as the language initially, however, with sheer hard work and commitment, I was able to establish myself and be able to contribute towards creating an environment within the business where people can be their true selves and want to inspire the next generation.
How much further do you think the industry needs to go to make changes and what should happen?
Businesses need to work out what their priorities are. If people feel looked after in a good culture, you will retain staff. In theory, that will save a business money as it will cost more to re-train staff from the start. Consumer Duty will have a great impact in the industry especially with vulnerable clients when this comes out later this year.
What does it mean to you to be nominated as a Change Maker?
It really feels amazing. Alongside my peers, I feel honoured.
When I was nominated, I was so proud of myself and of all the other people connected with me. I am a person that wants to help, and I’ve had some very special people that have helped me, and I want to give something back. I have been in financial services for 11 years and proud of what we have achieved as a team. I’m just happy that I can help people.