60 Seconds with… John Phillips, national operations director, Just Mortgages

Phillips

Having settled into your new role, what plans do you have for Just Mortgages in the next 12 months?

We have three objectives: to become a more customer-facing and holistic business; to raise the profile of the brand as hardly anybody knows who we are or of our link to the Spicer Haart group; and we have big expansion plans. The Spicer Haart group has just over 200 estate agencies and Just Mortgages has 115 advisers based in those branches. We need to increase this significantly so that everyone gets the advice they need. So we are on a big recruitment campaign for mortgage advisers; we aim to increase to 130 by the end of 2015 and to 150 by the end of 2016. We also want to make joining the group a career progression move so we are altering our structures to give our advisers career opportunities.

What challenges does the market face over the next year, specifically for estate agency-based advisers?

The biggest challenge will be simplifying the process. We need to ensure that advisers have a clear sales plan that takes account of all the regulatory changes. Estate agency advisers are often the first point of call for people buying a home but our challenge is ensuring that these advisers are the ones they go back to when they need to remortgage. We also need to ensure that the profile of advisers is high enough.

What would make the housebuying/mortgage process easier?

Lenders and brokers need a clearer understanding of what each other needs. It is essential that brokers understand what lenders require, how they want a case packaged and the quality needed. But lenders also must understand the challenges that brokers face and be consistent to help brokers always get it right and ensure that the client gets their mortgage in the shortest time. 

What advice would you give a new broker entering the industry?

Stick with it and learn, learn, learn. It is a great industry to be in.

Which famous person would you most like to meet and why?

Winston Churchill: he inspired a nation to stand up for what is good and right.

Do you have any secret talents?

I play drums in a rock band.

If you were not in your current role, what would you be doing?

I would be an engineer as I am a fully qualified toolmaker.  

Recommended

Christine Lagarde 2013 700x450.jpg

IMF urges central banks to hold off rate hikes amid global slowdown

The International Monetary Fund has urged the leading central banks to hold back on hiking interest rates amid slower global economic growth. In an agenda-setting note to G20 finance ministers and central bank governors, who met at the weekend in Ankara, Turkey, the IMF said the world’s largest economies needed to raise their medium-term growth […]

FCA logo glass 2 620x430
2

FCA to investigate whether regulation is holding back equity release

The FCA says it will investigate whether regulation is holding back the equity release market in the UK. At an FCA-organised conference in London today, director of strategy and competition Christopher Woolard called the UK and European Union equity release markets “relative minnows” compared to the US. He cited EU calculations that 13 member states […]

Carney
1

Cover story: Star turn?

Bank of England governor Mark Carney received a film star’s welcome in 2013 but does his left hand know what his right is doing? Opinion is divided

FCA logo new 3 620x430

Enterprise Finance gains advice approval

The FCA has approved master broker Enterprise Finance’s application to give mortgage advice. From March, second charge customers must receive advice and the firm can now offer this. Chief executive Danny Waters says: “Full regulation of the mortgage market has helped improve standards in the home loan industry in the past decade or so and […]

Health - thumbnail

Fit for Work: guidance for employers published

On Friday, the Department for Work and Pensions published its guidance for employers on using the new Fit for Work (FfW) service to help ill employees return to the workplace. It also includes more details on the tax exemption for medical interventions that commenced on 1 January 2015.

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up