Specialist Lending Solutions: Do you expect this to be your core business now?
Paul Crewe: I’d say it’s as important as the regulated side of the business. We expect it to play a major role in the overall business, representing up to 40% of all the business we transact in 2018.
Our aim is to promote Smart Money Finance as not just a brand associated with unregulated business activity but one which also reflects the exceptional service standards, reputation and strength of relationships built up over the years by Smart Money.
SLS: How important is it to separate regulated and non regulated business?
PC: These are specialist areas and ones which need to be handled by experts in their respective fields. This restructure provided the opportunity to ensure that we have the right teams in place to deal with different types of business. It’s a simple concept but we don’t want complex unregulated enquiries filtering through to a team who normally focus on residential products.
Regulated and unregulated business enquiries each provide their own set of challenges and it’s important to have specialists in place to correctly transact this business first time. Sometimes it may be the case that unregulated transactions need to be completed faster than regulated ones. But, no matter what type of case is being handled, there must always be one common goal – to ensure that the end customer and introducer receive the best possible outcome.
SLS: Do you think other firms will follow suit?
PC: Firms will each have their own infrastructure and ways in which they segregate business activity. Firms taking unregulated business seriously, and by that I mean having access to a range of options and offering the best service possible, should have a specialist team in place to deal with such cases.
SLS: What are your hopes for the non regulated sector?
PC: There is a huge opportunity to work closely with a number of lenders who are developing products to meet the shifting demands of clients, even during a period of regulatory change. It’s important for the sector as a whole to help educate intermediaries on how a variety of solutions can benefit their clients. And we want to be at the centre of this.
SLS: Is this move based on the challenges facing areas which have become regulated?
PC: All firms have to evolve in the face of regulatory change. The fact remains there are solutions out there which meet new regulations but are not available on the high street or even known by mortgage advisers. The intermediary community needs more support than ever to access the right types of solutions for clients to overcome any challenges they may be facing.