Top 10 most read mortgage broker stories this week – 04/09/2020
Criteria and product changes also grabbed readers’ attention as did the news of Emma Hollingworth joining lender M:Qube ahead of its launch into the broker market later this year.
Landlords could be hit with 45 per cent CGT – reports
Blow to first-time buyers as low deposit mortgages all but disappear
Barclays removes daily case limits
HSBC withdraws 90 per cent LTV mortgages for new customers
Santander and Halifax raise product transfer rates
Kensington launches lowest residential rate mortgage
NatWest increases high LTV rates by up to 0.3 per cent
Barclays cuts LTI for all cases not at offer
Emma Hollingworth joins M:Qube as distribution director ahead of Q4 launch
Mortgage Vision: No Pure Legal mis-sold mortgage claim has been upheld by court – Sinclair
Emma Hollingworth joins M:Qube as distribution director ahead of Q4 launch
Hollingworth (pictured) has taken up the role of distribution director with responsibility for building the lender’s team and distribution strategy as it launches.
The firm announced its arrival at the end of last year, promising to automate the whole mortgage application process focusing on using data.
Hollingworth told Mortgage Solutions: “I’m absolutely delighted to be joining M:Qube and we have a plan to bring real tangible change to the mortgage market in the months ahead.
“I’m really looking forward to launching our lending proposition and getting out and about meeting some old and hopefully some new colleagues in the weeks ahead, to let them know what we are all about.
“We’ll be building a team so we will be hiring salespeople as soon as possible and we have a plan for going to market which will involve the help of distributors, clubs, networks and packagers.
“We’re not planning to limit distribution, but we have to be mindful of capacity so will have a roll out at launch with handpicked distribution with a view to onboarding others as quickly as possible,” she added.
To start with the lender will be operating in the buy-to-let market but will move into the residential space.
It will be based on its own platform but will initially be lending funds from other sources using rules and criteria from those funders.
The firm is aiming to maximise the use of technology to speed up the mortgage process. It is effectively removing the decision in principal stage, with the intention of issuing binding offers where required – whether based on an automated valuation or subject to an in-person valuation.
“The systems and processes have all been tested and we’re now working on the products that will be on the platform,” Hollingworth continued.
“There will be quite a lot fewer questions on our applications because of all the data we have got access to.”
Rapid market change
Hollingworth is joining M:Qube from Bluestone where she was sales and marketing director and part of the executive team for nine months.
She noted that the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the market meant she was not able to carry out what she had originally planned to do there.
“I went to Bluestone as they are seen as a real innovator and I wanted to lead the associated scale up of distribution.
“During the Covid lockdown it became clear to me that the mortgage market would change more rapidly and extensively than I originally thought.
“Therefore I decided to move to a firm which is reimagining the mortgage market, as I believe that this is the direction the industry will accelerate toward,” she said.
Hollingworth was previously proposition director at Mortgage Advice Bureau, and prior to that sales director at Intrinsic.
M:Qube chief operating officer Richard Fitch, said: “We are incredibly pleased to have someone of Emma’s calibre join.
“Being able to recruit someone with Emma’s talent speaks volumes for the strength of our proposition and holds us in great stead for developing really strong relationships with our distribution partners”
Emma Hollingworth leaves Bluestone
Hollingworth joined the lender in November after leaving Mortgage Advice Bureau where she was strategic partnership director for nearly three years.
Her main role at Bluestone was to strengthen the lender’s relationship with its intermediary partners and during her time she was tasked with enhancing the end-to-end journey between brokers and their clients.
Hollingworth departed her post on Friday and it is unknown where she will be moving on to.
Steve Seal, managing director at Bluestone Mortgages, said: “It is with regret that I have to confirm that Emma Hollingworth has left the business. I would like to thank Emma for her dedication and commitment to Bluestone during her time with us.
“She has been enthusiastic in driving the development of Bluestone’s sales and distribution strategy and strengthening our intermediary relationships while championing the evolution of the specialist lending market.”
He added: “We are grateful to Emma for everything she has achieved within the business and wish her every success for the future.”
Mortgage Solutions has contacted Hollingworth for comment.
Bluestone has only got it right when the broker says so – Emma Hollingworth interview
Now working as its sales and marketing director, Hollingworth’s 14 years of mortgage distribution experience has given her an insight into how the lender-broker relationship should be working. With this knowledge, Bluestone is taking measures to further support its broker network.
This includes the lender’s plans to lean more on client data rather than relying on official sources such as the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
It intends to build client profiles through its own technology which Hollingworth says will be used to help its broker network understand clients better and further product development.
Bluestone also plans to set up a forum to hold discussions with brokers and it will also form a separate group of brokers who they will consult with regularly.
Although feedback gained through meetings with business development managers (BDMs) is a great source for Bluestone, Hollingworth says hearing comments directly from brokers is “invaluable”.
“Even if we think we’ve got something right, we haven’t until the broker agrees we have,” she says.
Other side of the market
With her most recent position being at Mortgage Advice Bureau, Hollingworth believes she can bring an understanding of what brokers go through on a daily basis to strengthen Bluestone’s relationship with intermediaries – the primary function of her current role.
“What I really want to do is bring that learning from my distribution days to help streamline and make the front-end journey more efficient.
“This effectively says: ‘how can we help the broker to help their customer? And once they have that customer, how can we help them look after their client and also do business with us in an easy way?’”
Speaking about the specialist lending Bluestone does to help customers who are rejected from the high street, Hollingworth says supporting advisers serve this market is very important. This is because once they have helped such customers get onto the mortgage ladder, they are likely to have a loyal client for the lifespan of their financial journey.
As a result, Hollingworth has embarked on a project looking at the end-to-end journey of a customer and broker.
She adds: “The project looks at all the processes, understanding what they have to do in the first place to give the advice and make the recommendation.
“Then I’ll look at the point in which they decide they want to deal with Bluestone, if it’s the right thing for the customer, and see how we can make that painless, seamless and frictionless.”
No matter how well a lender makes its technological operations, Hollingworth says advisers will always have their favourites but anything Bluestone can do to make the journey easier and remove hassle is always beneficial.
“Not that I’m suggesting it effects their recommendations. But because there are 100-odd lenders out there, that’s 100-odd systems brokers have got to work with.”
Hollingworth says while there will never be commonality across lender systems, the most the industry can do is be “better joined up” about what the future looks like for technology.
Increasing need for advice
Hollingworth has no concerns that the threat of execution-only will impact the lender’s business as the clients Bluestone targets will require advice.
She says: “The huge majority of people want advice because they just want somebody to tell them, somebody to talk to and somebody to help.”
Overall, she does not think the advice market will see a decline as the complexities of borrowers will push the need for adviser assistance.
“Could I see a time where a customer goes online because they’re squeaky clean, it’s a good loan to value and their income is right? I can see that happening,” she adds.
“However, who is normal? Who fits a little box? There’s not many people.”
Hollingworth says in the upcoming spring Budget, she wants to see the government focus on what will happen after the Help to Buy scheme is no longer available to help second-time buyers.
Because first-time buyers can bypass the starter home stage with government assistance, this has resulted in a strain in housing supply for those looking to upsize.
“If we’re looking at a world without Help to Buy for the second time buyer, there will be no properties,” she says.
If this is not addressed it could create a larger under-served market, Hollingworth adds, and it will take an industry-wide effort to plug the gap.
Bluestone Mortgages restructures senior management
Jack Warner, previously head of product and development analytics, has been appointed lending operations director. He will be responsible for all new business.
Mortgage servicing will be led by Lyndon Betteley as he has been promoted to mortgage operations director from business process manager.
Andy Voss, chief financial officer, will head up funding strategy and treasury operations, while Andrew Davies will continue as risk and compliance director.
The senior team will be under the leadership of Steve Seal who was appointed managing director in August and Emma Hollingworth, who started as sales and marketing director in January.
Seal (pictured) said: “We are lucky to have a strong and diverse senior management team to lead Bluestone Mortgages as we continue the next stage of company growth.
“Having a strong executive team focusing on improving products, service, technology, infrastructure and compliance, will enable us to further cement Bluestone as a trusted leader in the specialist lending market.”
Emma Hollingworth joins Bluestone as sales and marketing director
Hollingworth (pictured) will lead sales and distribution at Bluestone, strengthening relationships with the lender’s key intermediary partners, from January 2020.
She has clocked up 14 years’ of mortgage distribution experience across the industry at the Mortgage Advice Bureau, Intrinsic, SimplyBiz and MSN.
“Emma has demonstrated her ability to drive high quality service over the course of her career. To have someone with her skillset on board will be crucial for us as we go into the new year looking to deliver a first-rate mortgage proposition that meets the demands of brokers and customers,” said Steve Seal, managing director at Bluestone Mortgages.
Hollingworth said: “Bluestone has shown itself to be a lender driven by technology and innovation. To have the opportunity to help strengthen the business’s intermediary proposition is a real pleasure.”
Bluestone added that it increased its volume of residential mortgage settlements by 264 per cent in June 2019 compared to June 2018.
Exclusive: MAB recruits Intrinsic’s Emma Hollingworth and Andy Walton
Intrinsic Financial Services’ Hollingworth leaves her sales director, mortgage network role to become mortgage proposition director at MAB and protection sales director Andy Walton leaves to become protection proposition director at MAB.
Both joined Intrinsic Financial Services in August 2012 with start dates at MAB to be confirmed later in the Summer.
MAB CEO Peter Brodnicki said: “With so much change and opportunity ahead of us, it is crucially important for us to have strength in depth, and the strategically important appointments of Emma and Andy deliver exactly that.
Specialisation has been a key factor in MAB’s success to date, and the appointment of such high calibre individuals into these two new roles, combined with the other key appointments and investments last year, ensure MAB has the skills and expertise in depth across the business.”
He added: “This is great news for our AR partners and advisers, as we look to build new and exciting distribution solutions, whilst we align ourselves even closer with our customers and their future needs.”
Hollingworth has been appointed to strategically shape the mortgage proposition, its technology and lending. This will include specialist lead generation for MAB advisers and opportunities in the remortgage and retention space as well as MAB’s joint venture in Australia.
There is no crossover into Brian Murphy, head of lending’s role, who continues to oversee lending relationships, PR and lending to broker firms.
Walton joins after MAB bought a 20% share in protection specialist Vita in June last year to extend options for MAB distribution and further improve consistency of protection and GI advice provided within the group.
Walton’s strong record at Intrinsic includes a massive increase in protection sales volumes and consistency over his tenure and at MAB, he will own the whole proposition from product, technology to marketing, Vita and all development, communication and distribution strategies.
Hollingworth, mortgage proposition director at MAB, said: “I have always admired MAB’s seemingly never ending ambition and passion, and the fact that they have always led not followed.
“It is clear that the intermediary landscape is going to be changing, which is a huge opportunity for those businesses like MAB that are both bold and decisive, and so I am really looking forward to joining such a vibrant business and management team and at such a defining time for the intermediary sector.
“I look forward to playing my part in MAB’s continuing evolution.”
Walton, protection proposition director at MAB said: “The team at MAB are hugely talented and well-respected by their membership and the industry at large. Protection is a massive focus for MAB and we need to ensure all customers receive advice in this critical area.
I am really looking forward to helping drive forward the protection side of the business.”
Andy Thompson, Intrinsic CEO, thanked Hollingworth and Walton on behalf of everyone at Intrinsic and wished them both luck for the future.
“Intrinsic is committed to continuing our market-leading support for advisers and this year introduced a separate business channel for mortgages to give that part of the business representation and accountability at board level.
“We recently announced that Stephen Gazard would be joining the business from Sesame Bankhall Group to oversee the mortgage and protection business and we will be working to appoint experienced successors to both Emma and Andy in the near future.”
Intrinsic adds Fluent to lending panel
For Intrinsic’s restricted advisers, Fluent will provide a full advice service, while Intrinsic’s independent advisers will provide advice themselves backed up by borrowing options researched by Fluent, who will then package the case.
Jeff Davidson, head of intermediaries at Fluent for Advisers, said, “We are delighted to be joining Intrinsic’s second charge panel and look forward to working with their advisers. Our offering provides a full referral service, where we take responsibility for the advice and deal with the customer through to completion. Alternatively, for those advisers who are independent, we will research suitable options from our whole of market panel. Advisers will then make their own recommendation and Fluent will package the case.”
Emma Hollingworth, head of mortgages at Intrinsic Financial Services, added: “Our new panel of second charge master brokers brings together the expertise and support that our advisers require in today’s market. Fluent for Advisers has an impressive pedigree and I know that our advisers are going to receive a great service from their experienced team.”
New Street rolls out mortgage range to Intrinsic advisers
The move follows shortly after Legal & General Nouveau and Mortgage Advice Bureau partnered the lender as distribution partners. New Street initially launched into the market in February with London & Country, John Charcol and the LSL mortgage networks of Pink and First Complete.
Adrian Whittaker, sales director at New Street Mortgages, said: “This is another step forward for New Street Mortgages and our commitment to delivering a modern, digital approach to lending to a growing number of intermediaries. Intrinsic is a nationally recognised financial network and a strong addition to our growing list of partners. We look forward to working with the group over the coming months.”
Emma Hollingworth, Intrinsic mortgage sales director (pictured), added: “Today’s announcement is a reflection of our focus on supporting mortgage advisers and their clients with a compelling proposition supported by a range of quality lenders.”
Intrinsic sees 29% rise in mortgage lending
Mortgage sales director Emma Hollingworth said Intrinsic was delighted with the strength of the network’s performance against a backdrop of economic uncertainty and a highly competitive market.
Its mortgage and protection adviser numbers grew by 100 to 1,300 in the 12-month period ended 31 December.
Last week, Old Mutual, Intrinsic’s parent company, revealed it plans to split the group into four separate companies; Old Mutual Emerging Markets, Old Mutual Wealth, Nedbank and OM Asset Management. Intrinsic will sit within Old Mutual Wealth.
Group chief executive Bruce Hemphill said its new strategy would allow each business to have simpler access to capital markets which would allow them to grow more easily with straight forward regulatory arrangements.
The separation of the four businesses is expected to complete by the end of 2018.