JOHN EASTGATE, SALES AND MARKETING DIRECTOR, SAFFRON BUILDING SOCIETY
Saffron first offered its 95% LTV deal in July what has the response been from consumers?
John Charcol, which was the brokerage we first offered the product through, had a phenomenal uplift in the level of 95% LTV enquiries it gets, which is not a market it normally serves. So it was an encouraging spike in volumes and we’ve seen some of that come through in terms of business that’s landed on our desk.
Last week you expanded the number of brokers that could access the 95% deal and reduced the rate on it from 6.49% to 5.79% why?
The reduction was down to the fact that pricing has dropped since July in the mainstream market so we’ve been able to pass that along.
Saffron was number 21 on the council of mortgage lenders’ latest gross lending table for 2010 where do you expect to be on next year’s table?
Once you achieve a position on the table you’re reluctant to give it up. For 2011 we’ll probably do a little more than what we did in 2010. Last year we did £150m and this year we’re on track to do £160m.
If you were in charge of the FSA for the day what would you do?
I’d take a step back, breath in deeply and look to act proportionately.
What is your most extravagant purchase?
I’m Scottish so ’Scottish’ and ’extravagant’ are not words that are usually in the same sentence. But when I was a student I spent what at the time was a month’s rent on a designer jacket. Of course, I never wore it.
Who is your biggest hero and why?
My dad he gave me the moral code to be the man I am today. I wish he was still here to tell him how much I appreciate that. You don’t appreciate what you’ve got until it’s gone.
What book are you reading?
I’ve just finished The Man Who Cycled The World by a guy called Mark Beaumont. He cycled 18,000 miles round the world in 2007. It was quite inspiring what he did and makes you feel humble about the life you lead with all the stuff he went through.
Interview by Robert Thickett