TMA Club partners with United Trust Bank for Intermediaries
The agreement means TMA Club’s directly authorised brokers will have access to UTB’s residential mortgage products.
UTB offers first and second charge residential mortgage products which include flexibility on property type and construction.
It also offers products that lend to those with a complex income, who are self-employed and for those with adverse credit.
Other product features include no maximum property value for purchase and remortgage products, including for first time buyers, and remortgage products for flats above commercial properties or with balcony access.
The partnership with TMA brokers also includes a maximum first charge loan of up to £1m and no solicitors required for remortgages.
UTB said non-standard construction and most property types will accepted, with no valuations required subject to criteria and no minimum credit score required.
Beyond mainstream mortgage lending
The lender said it was continuing to invest in technology as well as integrating digital solutions and third-party services into its mortgage application journey including AVMs, app based biometric ID verification, secure messaging and document upload.
UTB has introduced an enhanced online DIP which includes automated-underwriting enabling brokers to receive real time decisions 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with bespoke case-level requirements. These service enhancements benefit brokers and customers with quicker and simpler application journeys and more successful outcomes.
Lisa Martin, development director at TMA, said: “The sector needs to find alternative solutions for those many customers who are struggling currently to meet the criteria of many high street lenders. United Trust Bank brings a different and refreshing approach to the market, and through this latest partnership, we will be able to continue providing our members with a wide range of products to suit each client’s needs.”
Mike Walters, sales director mortgages at United Trust Bank, said: “We’re excited to be partnering with TMA, one of the UK’s leading mortgage clubs, and give its members access to our range of residential mortgage products.”
“We pride ourselves on providing competitive products and outstanding service to brokers and their customers and our investment in technology combined with highly skilled people enables us to deliver quick and smooth customer journeys leading to successful outcomes which meet the needs of each borrower.
“My thanks to Hannah Oades from UTB and TMA’s Robert McCoy who have worked hard to launch this partnership which I’m sure will benefit TMA’s brokers and our mutual customers.”
United Trust Bank hires Alfa for digital transformation
Louise McIntosh, UTB’s asset finance head of operations, is in charge of the project. The bank said brokers could begin to benefit from the re-platforming by the end of this year.
The system, UTB said, will allow the bank to underwrite proposals more quickly which could lead to faster pay-outs. The software would also let UTB connect to brokers’ own proposal systems, the bank said, streamlining the application process to aid brokers.
Additional potential improvements, it said, would be to auto-underwrite proposals that fall within pre-set parameters, giving brokers instant decisions on some deals.
UTB said loan originations through its asset finance business grew by 136 percent last year, becoming its fastest-growing division by volume and headcount, pushing the lender’s asset finance loan book beyond £250m for the first time.
Nathan Mollett (pictured), head of asset finance at UTB, said the investment in technology will give the lender “greater capability and automation of routine tasks, accelerating servicing and allowing us to free up skilled people, enabling them to add value in ways only human interaction can.”
Andrew Denton, chief executive of Alfa, added: “We are proud that Nathan, Louise and the team have chosen Alfa to provide the technology foundation to make them future-ready; a scaleable, agile platform that allows them to fulfil their growth ambitions whilst maintaining their differentiation. And we are excited that Alfa Start will get them to that place in double-quick time.”
UTB’s Gavin Diamond to join Spring Finance as CEO
Diamond will join Spring Finance from UTB on 26 July with the aim to boost the lenders growth in the specialist market.
Diamond has worked at UTB for nearly nine years, where he is currently head of bridging finance, having previously served for over seven years as commercial director for bridging. He also has experience at other specialist lenders and finance providers, including five years as director and CEO of Cheval Bridging Finance.
Spring Finance said other senior hires would be announced in coming months.
Earlier this year, the lender launched a bridging pilot scheme to a select cohort of brokers with a view to launch to the wider market in Q2.
Andrew Bloom, owner of Spring Finance, said: “We are delighted that Gavin is joining and everyone is looking forward to him leading the team. It speaks volumes for Spring’s ambitions that this role attracted someone of Gavin’s calibre and experience.”
Diamond (pictured) added: “I am really happy to be joining Spring Finance at this tremendously exciting time. Following the recent financial investment, I see a real opportunity to use my experience to lead and grow the team to become a significant player in the wider specialist finance industry.”
Mark Stokes, executive director and chief commercial officer at United Trust Bank said: “Gavin has helped us to build a resilient and successful bridging operation and although we’re sorry to lose him we’d like to wish him well in his new venture.
“Our search has already begun to identify the individual who can lead UTB’s bridging business and deliver our plans for the future. In the meantime, our strong team led by Owen Bentley and Nikki Brett will ensure we continue to take the business forward and ensure continuity during the change of leadership.”
United Trust Bank appoints three property development senior staff
The specialist lender has expanded its property development sales team to 24 directors and managers after its loan book exceeded £1bn for the first time at the start of 2022. UTB has also formed a number of strategic partnerships with government agencies, including Homes England.
The bank is now focusing on localized expansion, hiring regionally to provide a range of development finance and developer exit solutions, as well as investing in cutting bureaucracy through fintech, and gaining more partnerships.
Neil Birse has been appointed as a director in the property development team based in Bristol to support housebuilders and developers across the South West.
Birse has worked in banking for 30 years, the last 17 of which he has specialised in providing development finance to housebuilders and developers. He joined UTB from Assetz Capital but has also worked with Bank of Ireland, Bristol & West and RBS.
Tim Manley has 15 years of corporate and real estate banking experience and joined UTB from Bank of London & Middle East (BLME).
Manley has also worked with lenders including ABC International Bank and Barclays.
As a manager in the property development team at UTB, he will be working alongside Hardeep Thandi to support housebuilders across Yorkshire, Humberside and the North-East.
Ross McCarthy has been appointed manager. He has worked for UTB in the case management team for the last two years, and prior to that with specialist lenders including AIB and Arbuthnot Latham.
He will be working with Luke Benton Drury supporting housebuilders and developers in London, the South and South East of England.
Adam Bovingdon (pictured), head of property development at United Trust Bank commented: “We’re continuing to attract experienced real estate finance professionals. Neil and Tim are excellent additions to the team and they are already out in their regions talking to housebuilders and brokers. Ross has had two good years with the Bank in our case management team. His new role will see him working with Luke and developing new relationships across London and the South East. We look forward to seeing his career progress with the Bank.
“We are looking to sustain 2021’s momentum and help housebuilders overcome the challenges of running their businesses in a high inflation environment. Our loan commitments now support the delivery of more than 6000 new homes across England and Wales and we have the capability and appetite to increase that further, as well as assisting the resurgence of the SME housebuilding sector regionally.”
Rob Irving joins United Trust Bank as ‘roving’ underwriter
UTB said Irving was the fourth underwriter to have joined its asset finance credit team in the last 12 months.
Irving is the lender’s first home-based asset finance underwriter and will work directly with brokers supporting SMEs based in the North-West, Midlands and Scotland.
He has a commercial banking background spanning nearly 20 years and joins UTB as a senior underwriter from Wesleyan Bank. He has previously held positions with Haydock Finance and RBS.
UTB said the expansion of its asset finance business followed a record year for the division; the lender’s loan book exceeded £200m for the first time in 2021.
Nathan Mollett, head of asset finance at United Trust Bank, said: “Rob has a pragmatic and commercial approach to lending and enjoys speaking directly to brokers to get deals agreed quickly. He’s an excellent fit for the team and brings experience and knowledge which will be put to very good use as he supports brokers from his base in the North West.
“One of UTB’s key strengths is our commitment to delivering outstanding service to brokers and encouraging direct dialogue, something fewer and fewer funders are willing to do. Rob is our first ‘home-based’ underwriter, a move which has been enabled by UTB’s investment in technology to make home working not just possible but seamless. We will continue to invest in talented people and in technology which bring us closer to our broker partners and allow us to build even stronger, more successful relationships.”
United Trust Bank bolsters bridging team by adding Craig Taylor as BDM
The specialist lender said it was continuing to develop its bridging sales team.
The appointment follows that of Owen Bentley as head of sales for bridging and comes after a period of unprecedented growth in the bank’s short-term secured lending business.
Taylor has held senior positions at lenders and brokerages during his decade in the property finance industry.
He has formed strong relationships with brokers, property investors and developers and was most recently regional sales director at Ultimate Finance where he worked with brokers including One 77 Mortgages, Clifton Private Finance and SPF Private Clients.
Owen Bentley, head of sales, bridging, United Trust Bank, said: “Craig has experience working on both the lending and broking sides of the industry and has a valuable insight of what both need to bring a deal together. His knowledge of the non-regulated sector will also be put to great use as developing UTB’s non-regulated bridging business is a key objective for 2022.
“Craig will be supporting brokers operating in my old patch in the South West and South Wales and I’m delighted that he will continue to develop relationships with brokers I’ve known for many years as well as introducing UTB to a whole new audience through his own established contacts. This is a very exciting time at UTB as we build on a successful 2021 and look to further enhance our products and services this year.”
United Trust Bank appoints underwriting boss for bridging
The key appointment follows the growth of the division’s underwriting team over several years and supports plans for the continued expansion of the bank’s bridging operations.
Brett and recently appointed head of sales, Owen Bentley, both report in to Gavin Diamond, UTB’s director for bridging, Gavin Diamond.
Brett brings a wealth of experience in bridging and specialist lending with a career spanning 30 years and working with lenders including Shawbrook Bank and Borro, as well as founding specialist finance consultancy Liquidity Central.
Most recently Brett was head of operations for development finance at Hampshire Trust Bank.
Diamond said: “2021 was a successful year for UTB’s bridging business which has continued to transact record levels of new lending, despite the additional challenges and uncertainty created by the ongoing pandemic.
“Nikki brings considerable experience to the team and fills a key role as we continue to grow. Our commitment to employing skilled and knowledgeable people alongside the implementation of technology to accelerate and simplify broker and customer journeys is cementing our position as a ‘go to’ lender for brokers with a wide variety of bridging requirements.”
Just before Christmas, the lender increased its maximum mortgage size for first charge residential loans to £1m, up from £750,000.
The change followed feedback that customer demand for larger mortgages was increasing and not being catered for by mainstream lenders.
Loans of up to £1m are available for residential purchases for existing homeowners, first-time buyers and remortgages.
United Trust Bank Asset Finance sets out tech and product investment growth strategy
Originations grew by 136 per cent in 2021, making it UTB’s fastest growing division by business volume and headcount, the bank said.
Its loan book also exceeded £200m for the first time.
The Asset Finance team hired 14 people to its sales, operations and credit departments last year, including the recruitment of four underwriters.
Astrid Michael was appointed head of sales for Asset Finance whilst Louise McIntosh joined as head of operations.
Last year, the bank announced it would focus on transacting higher value loans up to £2.5m and its intentions to become a go-to funder for higher value car finance.
Nathan Mollett (pictured), head of Asset Finance at United Trust Bank, said: “2021 was a very successful year for UTB’s Asset Finance business. We more than doubled our new business lending year-on-year and we’ve grown the team in all departments. We have great people working at all levels of the division, all equally committed to providing exemplary broker service and putting UTB on the map as the best specialist asset finance lender in the market.
He added: “The technology we’re implementing this year is designed to further simplify processes and accelerate turnaround times without sacrificing that vital USP and we’re developing some exciting new products which will help brokers develop their businesses into new markets.
“Talking of which, we are dealing with more brokers than we ever have before so as well as investing in technology we are continuing to recruit experienced professionals to ensure we maintain those strong relationships and deliver the very best experience to brokers and their customers. In 2021 we built a great team and set out our stall. Now watch what we do in 2022.”
UTB adds Hometrack’s AVMs to bridging broker portal
It will allow brokers submitting enquiries and decisions in principle (DiPs) through the portal to carry out a Hometrack AVM search 24 hours a day and to obtain an instant pass or fail indication, as well as an accurate valuation at the point of submitting the enquiry to UTB.
UTB said that that it was an industry first as no other bridging lenders currently offered AVM integrations in their online portals. It added that feedback from brokers who had trialed the system before a full launch had been “very positive”.
Chetan Hirani, adviser with Fluent Bridging, said: “It’s quick and easy and not having to wait for the lender to confirm if the AVM has passed not only accelerates the process but is a great selling point for clients. We can tell them straight away it has passed, get the DiP and ESIS and quote them much faster.
“Equally, if the AVM comes in lower, we can adjust the figures and liaise with the client to see if they could manage a lower loan amount to avoid a full valuation. Either way it keeps the process moving quickly which as we all know is critical in bridging.”
The service speeds up the production of terms and DiPs enabling brokers submitting “self-service” applications to proceed quickly with greater speed, accuracy and certainty.
Gavin Diamond (pictured), director of bridging at UTB, said: “At UTB we are constantly looking for ways to make bridging applications simpler, quicker and to give as much certainty as possible from early in the process.
“By integrating Hometrack AVM searches within UTB’s bridging broker portal brokers can very quickly see if the property valuation is going to support the application they’re making, enabling them to proceed quickly or rethink their options.”
He added: “We believe that this latest enhancement, especially when combined with our fast-track service, provides a quick application, decision and completion process with offers made within 24 hours and funds available to draw just a few days later.”
Earlier this year the lender launched a fast-track bridging serviced with a specific team and underwriting process to speed up turnaround times of “straightforward bridging applications”.
United Trust Bank launches range for mortgage prisoners
The range is open for borrowers who may need a specialist approach to their application status, income or property.
UTB will apply a reduced affordability assessment in line with the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA’s) policy to relax assessment for affected borrowers.
The new monthly payments must be lower than current monthly payments and no stress rate is applied.
The products will only be available through brokers who are accredited by the Mortgage Advice Service and show they have experience with advising mortgage prisoners.
The range offers loans between £10,000 and £500,000 and like-for-like remortgages are available. Products are fixed for either two or five years and the maximum loan to value offered is 60 per cent.
Remortgages are available on a capital and interest or interest-only basis.
Last week, the FCA published its review into mortgage prisoners and urged more lenders to help as it found just 200 borrowers had benefitted from relaxed affordability assessments.
The regulator estimated that 47,000 mortgage prisoners could refinance onto a lower mortgage rate and reduce their monthly payments.
Mortgage prisoners are defined by the FCA as borrowers that are unable to switch from a standard variable rate (SVR) to a new mortgage deal despite being up to date with their mortgage payments and, depending on their loan and borrower risk characteristics, could potentially benefit from switching.
Buster Tolfree, director – mortgages, United Trust Bank, said the review highlighted just how many people were “trapped in poor value mortgages” through no fault of their own.
He added: “As a specialist mortgage lender, we have the skills and flexible underwriting capability to help many of those households move to a better, more competitive deal if their circumstances don’t suit those required by most other lenders.
“I’m very happy that UTB is one of the first specialist mortgage lenders to offer products specifically designed to help mortgage prisoners get a better deal.”