We aim to amplify the voices of all intermediaries, up and down the country. This month we profile Clayton Shipton, managing director of CLS Money
Sum up your firm in three sentences.
CLS Money is passionate about getting customers the right mortgage for their needs, no matter their credit score. We aim to remove the stress and hassle of the mortgage application process. We do this by managing every aspect of the procedure for the customer .
What led you to become a broker?
I started my career in 2003 working at HFC Bank, where I progressed to branch manager. After a few years I moved to Welcome Finance, but was unfortunately made redundant in 2010 because of the credit crunch.
When applying for new roles, I quickly realised that despite having a wealth of experience in financial services I didn’t have the relevant qualifications to back this up, and therefore decided to obtain my CeMAPs.
Starting out at possibly one of the worst times has meant that my job has actually become easier
Shortly after passing my exams, an old colleague from HFC contacted me about a role within a local mortgage brokerage, which I gladly accepted. However, although I really enjoyed working there, I decided that I wanted to give it a go myself and set up CLS from my home office in 2011.
What are the biggest issues facing you as a broker?
I have been quite fortunate to have not enjoyed the heyday of the mortgage industry, prior to the financial crisis of 2007.
Starting out at possibly one of the worst times has meant that my job has actually become easier over the past couple of years.
New specialist lenders coming to the market has also added healthy competition, which has resulted in some of the mainstream lenders having to loosen their criteria in order to keep their share of the market.
With the market now a lot more appealing, there is obviously more competition among us brokers too. But, it’s a good thing for the industry and only inspires me to grow CLS even further.
What one thing could lenders do to improve brokers’ lives the most?
Fintech is a huge talking point at the moment, which I gladly embrace. But, where lenders have happily jumped on board with this, they have certainly missed a trick with verifying customer documents.
In today’s digital day and age, the majority of people now receive their payslips, bills and bank statements online, so why do lenders still insist that brokers verify these as originals?
At CLS we have a very smooth process, but the one thing that always slows this up is client documentation
At CLS we have a very smooth process, but the one thing that always slows this up is client documentation.
There are some great companies out there that can supply some of these documents, so it would be good to see some of the lenders embrace this and allow us to use them.
What plans do you have for the future of your firm?
The past 18 months have been extremely successful for CLS. We have significantly increased our numbers and relocated to more modern and spacious premises, where there is now ample room to meet with clients and associates, and recently launched a bespoke, end-to-end broker customer management system.
We are about to launch a new website, which will also showcase our new look and coincide with the unveiling of our new high street store, which we hope to have up and running within the next few months.
I am extremely fortunate to have a fantastic team of hardworking and dedicated individuals at CLS, and with all the exciting things we are working on, I am hoping to be able to increase our numbers even further by the end of the year.