Brokers must be visible to 1m adverse credit borrowers ready to buy homes – Pepper Money video

Brokers must be visible to 1m adverse credit borrowers ready to buy homes –  Pepper Money video

According to Pepper Money’s adverse credit White Paper, of the 1.09m people who have experienced adverse credit in the last three years, t66 per cent will be approaching a broker for advice, up from 40 per cent a year ago.

In the second video debate focused on the research, Rob Jupp Brightstar’s CEO said the quality and in-depth nature of brokers’ online customer reviews have never been more critical.

“What your potential customers will be looking for is people who look like them. Normal people with similar issues to theirs. What I would really urge your [adverse] customers is not just to leave online reviews, but encourage clients to make them relevant. You’ll find that they will be refreshingly honest about their own situation. It’s almost a cathartic thing, they say this is me, this is what I had and this is what the broker did for me – and that will be tremendously encouraging to the million or so people looking to buy in the next 12 months,” said Jupp.

If they can see people who look like them, they are more likely to pick up the phone and say can you help me, said Jupp.

Dale Jannels, managing director of Impact Specialist Finance said education will be key for this market as a lot of adverse credit customers still don’t know they are in a position to buy a home.

“It’s down to all of us – advisers, packagers, lenders, networks and even trade bodies – should be out promoting to the end-consumer the fact it is an option to get a mortgage, no matter what your scenario,” said Jannels.

Of course it’ll depend on their affordability, credit history and score but they must come in to an adviser to explore all avenues,” he added.

Pepper Money sales director, Paul Adams said he was ‘chuffed to bits’ that interest in brokers’ services had risen from 40 to 66 per cent since the first survey was taken over 12 months ago and advocated a higher online presence promoting support for adverse credit customers as part of that skillset.

For more from all of our panelists watch part two of our debate [09:50] – and click on the link under the video to download the research.





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Watch the first video in the four-part series here:


Foundation enters packager agreement with Y3S Bridging & Commercial

Foundation enters packager agreement with Y3S Bridging & Commercial


Through this agreement, Y3S B&C will be able to provide fully packaged cases across the Foundation’s full range of buy-to-let products. 

Grant Hendry (pictured), head of national accounts at Foundation Home Loans, said: “There is a growing level of complexity in the specialist buy-to-let sector and Y3S B&C are both highly experienced and offer a range of benefits to their introducers which ensures all stakeholders receive an excellent service.  

“We’re looking forward to working with the Y3S B&C team and helping them and their introducers understand the many product opportunities that Foundation can offer in this key sector.”  

Andrew Gage, managing director at Y3S B&C, added: “We are looking forward to forging a strong relationship with the Foundation family. The products available with Foundation will give even greater choice for our intermediaries and clients alike.” 

Pair rejoin Brilliant Solutions in senior positions

Pair rejoin Brilliant Solutions in senior positions


Ivan Vizor joins as senior business development manager, operating nationally. He previously established and ran the Cheltenham office for the firm.

Darren Pointer is taking up the post of broker support manager, having previously worked for the firm as a mortgage placement and underwriter. 

Both have left positions at Clever Lending to rejoin Brilliant Solutions.

Vizor has already started in his new role, while Pointer starts next week.

Matthew Arena (pictured), managing director of Brilliant Solutions, said: “Darren’s knowledge is second to none and his commitment to getting the best for brokers will help us maintain incredible service standards even as we continue to grow at pace.”


Clever Lending appoints senior leadership team

Clever Lending appoints senior leadership team


Kevin Blount was appointed to oversee all operational aspects as director of technical operations and Michelle Neville was hired as director of new business to deliver the sales strategy.

The pair have been promoted following the departure of Sam Kirtikar, who left his position as CEO in July.

Neville (pictured left) has been involved with Clever Lending since it launched and said it was a great pleasure to take on the new role.

She said: “Our efforts will now focus on nurturing existing relationships and engaging with brokers who may not know how a specialist distributer such as Clever Lending can benefit their businesses.

“With aspirations of growth and increased product offering, the team and I are looking forward to building our presence across the specialist lending market,” she added.

Blount (pictured right) has been at the distributor for more than six years, having previously been an adviser at Payplan Financial Services.

He said: “The growing specialist lending market presents huge opportunities for the business and with a recent surge in people looking to take out alternative finance solutions now’s an exciting time to develop Clever Lending even further.

“Mortgage brokers are experts in what they do and have great product knowledge, but the fact is, the market is a moving beast and new product solutions are constantly being introduced in the specialist space,” he added.

“Plus, if the situation is a bit more complex, there’s nothing wrong with getting a second opinion,” Blount said.

Clever Lending offers first charge packaging, second charge, commercial and bridging loans.


Impact Specialist Finance added to TMA packager panel

Impact Specialist Finance added to TMA packager panel


It will enable TMA members to access Impact’s range of specialist lending solutions in areas including bridging, specialist buy-to-let, commercial, credit impaired, mortgages abroad and later life lending.

Dale Jannels, managing director at Impact Specialist Finance, said it was the formation of a like-minded partnership.

“We look forward to working closely with the TMA team to provide their members with the expertise and experience to help them maximise the growing number of opportunities being generated across the specialist lending sectors.”

Rob McCoy, senior product and business manager at TMA, added: “As the specialist lending market grows to meet the changing needs of consumers, partnerships like this ensure that our members stay ahead of the curve and are ready and able to serve more customers looking for lending with particular needs and circumstances.

“A common-sense approach to lending is imperative in today’s socioeconomic landscape and we are delighted to be working with Impact to help advisers deliver the best possible outcome for every single one of their clients, no matter what their circumstances.”


Masthaven completes API link-up with Specialist Mortgage Group

Masthaven completes API link-up with Specialist Mortgage Group


The lender’s application programming interface (API) will now be connected with SMG’s application platform Lenderlink. As a result, its second charge products will be included in the application funnel at a DIP level, a move it argues will make it easier and quicker for brokers to place cases.

Masthaven said it plans to roll out its API connection to more broker firms this year.

Jon Hall (pictured), managing director of Masthaven, said APIs have the potential to “completely transform” the mortgage industry, with positive effects already being seen through things such as auto-filling technology and real-time case tracking.

He continued: “While we recognise the power of technology, we don’t ever undermine the importance of human intelligence. Tech allows the specialist lending sector to complete tasks smartly and with speed, but real people will always lie at the heart of the market.”

Matt Cottle, chief executive officer at SMG, said: “It’s great to see the power of APIs really starting to make a difference in the market and we look forward to seeing more of these capabilities utilised in due course.”


Connect for Intermediaries starts packaging for Zephyr and Fleet Mortgages

Connect for Intermediaries starts packaging for Zephyr and Fleet Mortgages


Connect’s whole of market placement desk will help brokers to place mortgages with these new lenders.

A spokesperson from Connect for Intermediaries told Specialist Lending Solutions that the company is open to adding further lenders across the new year.

Zephyr, launched just before Christmas by Computershare Loan Services, is accepting individual and limited company buy-to-let applications with rates starting from 2.69%.

Fleet Mortgages is offering free valuations and has changed its standard product rental calculation to 125% of the rental income at 3.89% to enable borrowers to borrow more.


Buy-to-let buoyant

Liz Syms, CEO of Connect for Intermediaries (pictured), said the buy-to-let market was still buoyant for purchase and remortgaging.

She added: “These new rates and terms will be a welcome addition to landlords be they individual landlords, landlords with a portfolio of properties or those who hold properties in a limited company.

“Both lenders will be a welcome addition to every broker with buy-to-let clients and our specialist market placement desk is available to help them take advantage of this.”

Peter Charge, head of sales for Zephyr Homeloans, said the team is delighted to be working with Connect as one of its key intermediary partners.

He added: “They have extensive knowledge of the specialist buy-to-let market and we look forward to developing a strong relationship with them going forward as we grow the Zephyr Homeloans brand.”

In December 2018, Fleet Mortgages introduced new products across its standard and limited company ranges, as well as criteria changes specifically for portfolio landlords.

Brilliant Solutions on network packager bans: ‘Its done to control distribution and extract more profit’

Brilliant Solutions on network packager bans: ‘Its done to control distribution and extract more profit’


“We earn as much now from packaging mortgages as before we launched fees-free packaging, so that shows you the proposition has worked,” says Brilliant Solutions managing director Matthew Arena.

“Others in the market are more transactional, that’s why they have to charge a fee because brokers aren’t doing that much packaged business. We’re in the fortunate position where we can value that broker relationship over time.

“It takes a long time for that to build up and have that impact on the bottom line but that’s starting to work,” he says.


Significant shifts

Perhaps the biggest surprise was hesitancy among brokers who Arena says were interested but cautious and expecting a fee to “come out of the woodwork” at some point.

But the change in policy has seen two significant shifts within the business and how brokers are using the firm.

“One is with packager exclusive deals where brokers may not have a strong relationship with the packager, they just use them because they have to,” Arena continues.

“Now they are seeing our fee-free offering, they use us and then they start asking questions, get to know us and so we’re starting to see more activity on the packager exclusives.

“And the other change is with buy to let, but not necessarily packaged enquiries.

“Because of all the changes in that sector and with our fee-free deal, brokers have the comfort to talk to us and feel they are not going to be sold a packaged solution. That is very positive,” he adds.


No customer interaction

It’s at this point in explaining how the firm has developed and operates its packaging proposition that Arena makes a slightly surprising admission.

“We don’t expect to deal with the customer at any stage in the process,” he says.

“Wherever possible we like to support the broker – that’s what our business is built on. We look at the component that we are better at managing, where we’re able to help them and we don’t specialise in direct to customer engagement.

“Those skills are what brokers are all about, so we go back to the broker with the information, we engage with the broker to do their job better,” he adds.

This is something of a contrast to much of the master broker market evolution.

In recent years it has become more customer-centric as firms are increasingly taking on the task of ‘borrowing’ customers from brokers to service them for specific deals and transactions.


Skewed distribution

So how does Arena see the master broker sector developing? One concern raised within the specialist sector especially is that distribution is too centralised among just a few key firms and packagers.

While Arena understands where this issue comes from, he believes the cause and main place for concern is further up the chain.

“The distribution market for mortgages is skewed,” he says.

“Looking at the prime sector there are a tiny number of businesses that control a huge swathe of intermediary mortgage distribution – that’s not right, there’s no reason for it, there’s no basis for it.

“Often people point the finger at the specialist sector, but that level of control is not right.”

He also targets networks for putting too many boundaries around their authorised representative (AR) brokers.

“The big thing for me is the networks restricting ARs from accessing a mortgage club, a packager, a second charge broker and it’s done for no other reason than to control distribution to extract more profit from it,” he continues.

“And it’s to the detriment of customers and brokers.

“They will always say there’s a get out jail free card to go off panel, but the reality is these brokers aren’t aware of what’s available off panel. They’re not given the opportunity to research that space,” he adds.

Arena accepts there are some aggregation problems within the specialist market where there are a limited number of distributors that have a strong presence.

“That’s not necessarily good,” he admits, “but if we tackle the fundamental problem that not all brokers in the land are free to choose what’s best for the customer in terms of distribution channel or access to product, then that solves itself as competition takes place in a free and fair world.

“In that situation the business with the best proposition for that broker at that point in time will win out.”


Second charge

With much debate and controversy around master broker fees in the second charge sector, Brilliant has also taken a transparent approach here – charging a flat fee of £695 for all cases.

Again, this is done under the same premise to provide an opening to work with brokers in the future.

“It’s a very low margin for the work involved and the broker keeps absolutely everything else,” Arena continues.

“I’m not one for scaremongering about fees – if brokers do their due diligence they will know what’s out there and they will pick and choose, but a flat fee of £695 is more than competitive.”

This sector has been one of the most turbulent in the last year, particularly for lenders, and Arena sees this moving into the distribution side too.

“There are a lot of changes going on in the second charge market but it’s not just lenders, I think certain large brokers have been targeted to change their practices too,” he says.

“A lot of second charge, bridging and commercial brokerages are still working on pre-FCA business models with incentives for staff and so on and that’s got to stop.

“As I understand it that’s being looked into at the moment and I am aware that the lenders have been in touch with the regulator,” he adds.


All plugged in

Finally, Arena addresses the movement of technology into the market.

This is one of the key strands which he believes will mean Brilliant can add scale efficiencies to its current operations with an application programming interface (API) ready platform.

However, while there is interest from lenders this may take time due to the costs involved.

“The scale of the task is significant for any business,” he says.

“When you deal in the prime, specialist, packaging, bridging, seconds and commercial markets that is a fantastic opportunity and it won’t be long before they are all plugged in.

“But there’s a huge cost resource involved in working with that before the market is ready for it and we’re at that stage where it’s great to see but the market isn’t quite ready for the benefits it brings yet. But it’s just a matter of time,” he concludes.


Specialist packager and broker Capital B launches

Specialist packager and broker Capital B launches


The firm is headed up by directors Chris Borwick and Andre Bartlett who are both former SPF Private Client directors, each with more than 15 years’ experience in property finance.

It will offer an advised and packaged brokerage service to intermediaries covering high net worth individuals, bridging loans, property development finance, commercial finance and complex residential and buy-to-let mortgages.

Capital B, which is based in Holborn, London, is an appointed representative of Positive Lending.

Capital B director Chris Borwick said: “Andre and I are excited to announce the launch of Capital B and bring our passion for supporting brokers to life.

“There is strong demand from intermediaries for help with complex and specialist finance and we are perfectly placed to meet that need; we know the lenders, the products and the best loans available.

“But more than this, Capital B will add that something different, superior service.”

Director Andre Bartlett (pictured) added: “This is a great time to launch Capital B into the market. We’re surrounding ourselves with the very best lenders, funders and professionals in the market. Now that we are ready to launch, the sky is the limit.”


TML adds 85% LTV exclusive with enhanced proc fee

TML adds 85% LTV exclusive with enhanced proc fee

The exclusive products start from 2.82% across product tiers 1-6, on two- and five-year fixed rates at a 0.25% reduction compared to whole of market product range.

They also offer an enhanced proc fee of 0.9%.

The Mortgage Lender sales and marketing director Pete Thomson said: “Our aim at TML is to respond to market needs and because of that we constantly ask our partners to challenge us to help them help their customers.

“The launch of these exclusive deals is one of those occasions when our Premier Panel members asked for something and we delivered.

“Not only that, but this is the first of many deals we’ll be rolling out in response to market demand,” he added.

Doug Hall, director of 3mc and member of the Premier Panel, said: “The exclusive deal created for the Premier Panel is a further sign that The Mortgage Lender goes that extra mile to support packagers and provide the tools they need.

“As packagers, our customers turn to us to source specialist criteria and rates, The Mortgage Lender continues to provide us with the products and rates we need to assist our customers.”