We aim to amplify the voices of all intermediaries, up and down the country. We profile Andrew Jackson, director of IMC
Please describe your firm in a few sentences
IMC Financial Services advises on and arranges mortgages and protection for local clients. We provide other areas of expertise too, including life insurance, wills and estate planning, private health care and investment, but mortgages and protection make up around 85 per cent of our day-to-day business. We have six full-time brokers who are also qualified financial advisers, so we spend time in advisory roles as well as broking.
Most of our customers like to understand the process, as well as being told about the best rates. We are whole-of-market, recommending policies from multiple lenders, as opposed to one or two.
What led you to become a broker?
I started my career in a bank when I was 19, and this was where I spent my first three years as a finance professional. This experience introduced me to the finance world but, seeking new challenges and more opportunities for career progression, I applied to become a broker at the age of 22. I have now been a broker for 32 years, 23 of which have been at IMC.
What are the biggest issues facing you as a broker?
I would say Brexit, but this seems boring, so I will expand on this. The biggest challenge for us at IMC specifically – because mortgages form such a big part of what we do and we are based in London – is the current property market.
Government regulations have made it harder for people to obtain buy-to-let mortgages.
As a result, there is little movement in the housing market at present and BTL business has reduced a lot. For some reason, this effect seems stronger in London.
I would be interested in any research or data that shows why this is the case. It is difficult to know what the market would be like if Brexit was not happening, so it will be interesting to reflect on this in a year or so.
What one thing could lenders do to improve brokers’ lives the most?
Invest more in their administrative teams so that they are able to process mortgage applications more efficiently.
Applying for mortgages is an important stage in all our customers’ lives – people are often anxious and sometimes under pressure to move or sell quickly – so this is especially important for us. I now have three full-time administrators to help our brokers follow up with lenders in order to speed the process along for our customers.
If lenders did the same, the process would be smoother, more efficient and less stressful for both broker and customer.
What plans do you have for the future of your firm?
Consolidating on what we have achieved in the past 20-plus years, with some company growth.
We are recruiting and the team is expanding but, as a firm, we plan to stick to our core services, increasing turnover year after year. Our focus will be on providing a quality level of personal service within mortgages, life insurance, wills, pensions, investment advice and private healthcare.
As mentioned, mortgages and protection are our most popular areas of service and, as a company, we would love to expand our wills and estate planning business to a similar level. I would like for customers to keep returning to IMC and referring us to new clients.