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Mortgage brokers’ reasons to be cheerful in 2017 – Marketwatch

  • 21/12/2016
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It's been a tough year for many in the mortgage sector, so its understandable that many of us will be tentative about what 2017 holds in store.

For the final Marketwatch of 2017 we’ve asked a panel of mortgage brokers to tell us their reasons to be cheerful in 2017.

Gemma Harle, managing director, TenetLime, says while there is the looming threat of lenders looking to improve their direct offering, lenders such as Virgin Money are flying the flag for the intermediary market.

Paul Flavin, director at Zing Mortgages, says that mortgage brokers who are motivated enough to make the most of niche opportunities in the market next year will find success filter through to business volumes.

Matt Sutton, managing director, Emerald Finance, believes that the ongoing number of new entrants to the lender market will continue to spur confidence and activity in the market throughout 2017.

Chris Schutrups, managing director, The Mortgage Hut Group, suggests improving technology and record low interest rates will keep brokers and borrowers interested next year.


Gemma HarleGemma Harle is managing director at TenetLime

From an intermediary perspective, we are looking forward to retaining and building upon the 70% share of the mortgage market we currently enjoy.

However, we must be mindful of the fact that lenders are increasingly investing in new technology, as an enabler to attract and retain customers direct. So brokers beware and no resting on laurels.

That being said, we are encouraged by lenders such as Virgin continuing to expand their support. They have led the way with their ‘Find a broker’ and ‘Mortgage Lab’ initiatives, and their service commitment to the sector is second to none.

As ever, the new year will see its fair share of innovation and we will be keeping a particular eye on the buy-to-let market, where niche lenders are already finding ways to offset the recent tax changes.

Another development which we expect to blossom in 2017 is more lenders offering joint borrower/sole proprietor deals.

One of the biggest changes in 2016 was second charge lending becoming regulated under the Mortgage Credit Directive. We anticipate this market maturing rapidly to quickly become more aligned with first charge activity. In doing so, it will provide brokers with the opportunity to help many customers who are currently unable to get a mortgage.

We fervently hope that public awareness of the value of protection will continue its rapid rise and all mortgage payments being covered by some form of safeguard against illness or redundancy is perhaps at the top of our wish list.

Finally, in this season of goodwill to all men, we sincerely hope we shall see a continuation of the more open, collaborative approach now favoured by the FCA.

Their ‘Live and Local’ events have been a great success and our highly-regulated environment can only be a better place if this new-found spirit of co-operation is engendered on all sides.


Paul FlavinPaul Flavin is director at Zing Mortgages

The future for mortgage brokers in 2017? In my view it will either be buoyant or depressed – and that’s not me giving a politician’s response, it’s me knowing that success depends largely on the motivation and adaptability of the broker.

For those thinking they can increase business by doing the same vanilla residential and buy-to-let mortgages that kept them afloat in 2016 then there’s a rude awakening not far ahead. For those sitting waiting for clients to call, requesting a two-year mortgage review while high street lenders work harder on retaining the more desirable clients then, without any wish to be a scaremonger… the end is nigh!

The good news is reserved for those willing to adapt, to realise that buy-to-let mortgages are now more specialised so a little extra knowledge is required. Those who proactively seek to provide a quality of service that puts the broker’s perceived value above that of the banks will be raising a glass to celebrate at the end of next year. And for all those wise brokers who embrace a combination of technology with good old fashioned customer service, I’m sure the future is rosy and full of opportunities.

At Zing, we all – that’s me, my advisers and the administration team –  honestly believe that we provide the best customer experience available. Yet even this confidence, combined with the accolades we’ve received to prove it, weren’t enough to overcome a downturn in Q3 of 2016.

We’re now working hard to improve our client experience. We’re looking at how to build specialist knowledge in key areas with potential growth and seeing how best to repackage our current mortgage solutions into innovative transactions that will open up new markets.

My mission? Not only to guarantee our future but really cement our place at the top table. The main obstacle I face is how fast web designers, legal teams and the like can work to ensure these new ideas are ready for launch in Q1 of 2017.

Here’s to a proactive and prosperous 2017 for everyone, and I for one can’t wait to be up front, rewriting some of the rules and challenging some of the current perceptions within our industry.


Matt Sutton Emerald FinanceMatt Sutton is managing director at Emerald Finance

2017 brings a new dawn, a point where we can refresh and hit the upcoming year with renewed vigour, focus and enthusiasm, to improve and adapt with market changes, and make the most of opportunities before us. With a turbulent 2016 behind us and Brexit pending some may worry that there isn’t much to be cheerful about. How wrong they are.

It’s going to be an exciting year. New lenders continue to enter the market across all elements of the sector, with new criteria and product features enabling us to service more clients and offer a better range of options. Different solutions should equate to more satisfied clients, more stability and more sustainable earning streams.

Interest rates are at, for most, a lifetime low. Fantastic news for home owners. We have a great opportunity to crack open our client banks and market the remortgage deals available, and to promote these fantastic deals to the masses. Many homeowners are stagnating on old tracker or variable rates and it’s down to each adviser to educate these potential and existing clients as to the savings that can be made.

For savers experiencing poor returns, discuss the potential of diversifying and investing in buy to let. Even with the new buy-to-let rules with rates so low and most lenders lending into retirement many of these investors can get better returns on their savings, as well as the possible cherry of equity growth on top by investing in property.

Mortgage advisers remain in high demand. Our industry has a shortage of skilled advisers which means that opportunities are plentiful and there is plenty of work available. Our competition isn’t with each other but with time and to see how many people we can help in 2017.


head shot Chris SchutrupsChris Schutrups is managing director at The Mortgage Hut Group

While 2016 has been an amazing year for mortgages and seen us posting record numbers in terms of deals sealed and loans approved I have a feeling 2017 is going to be tougher.

That said, record low interest rates – for as long as they continue – and the rise of the challenger banks in an already crowded market place, increasing competition for the benefit of the customer, will still be good news for brokers like us in 2017.

An increasing use of digital technology by lenders – such as Atom Bank recently – will create real synergies for brokers like us who have been exploiting the benefits that new technology brings to improving the customer experience in their mortgage application.

I also think 2017 will be a really big year for some of the lenders with record breaking months of people coming to the end of fixed rate deals and switching back to standard variable rate. That will be a good opportunity for brokers and lenders to help more people choose the next deal that matches their needs.

Although the end of the Help to Buy Guarantee mortgage nears, lenders have continued to offer 95% mortgages without it and I am sure that will continue to stimulate the lower end of the market.

Lenders are really up against it with increasing competition and lower margins than ever, but that is good news for customers. There will be uncertainty as the effects of Brexit become clearer and we all get used to having President Trump in the White House, but provided builders keep building new homes and lenders keep lending then the outlook for people buying a new home or remortgaging should be good for 2017.

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