You are now managing director of both Abbey for Intermediaries and private bank Cater Allen.
What plans does Cater Allen have to work with brokers?
It is a specialised bank dedicated to working with intermediaries, with a long financial history dating back to 1816. As an intermediary brand in the cash management market, it offers a proposition focused on supporting intermediaries with a series of products and services.
What will be the main differences between Cater Allen and Abbey?
Cater Allen offers products for clients’ cash portfolios, including fixed term deposits, structured deposits and current accounts, whereas Abbey is our intermediary mortgage brand. The intermediary channel is a key channel for Santander and as we look to distribute more products through it, we believe that bringing our two intermediary brands together under the same management will allow us to deepen the relationships we have with intermediaries.
How will Abbey be affected by a dampening of lending appetite from Santander?
Both Abbey and Santander remain committed to writing good quality, profitable mortgage business that offers the borrower the right mortgage for their needs.
What effect will the Spanish banking bailout have on intermediary mortgage lending?
None. Banco Santander is one of the few European banks that has not received any state aid. The International Monetary Fund describes Santander as well capitalised, profitable and diversified, and it comfortably met the European Banking Authority’s capital requirements six months ahead of schedule. With regard to Santander UK, we operate under a subsidiary model, which means that Santander UK plc is completely autonomous from its Spanish parent company and all money raised in the UK stays in the UK.
If you were in charge of the FSA for a day, what would you do?
Ensure the benefit to the end customer is clearly identified in every new policy decision.
Do you have any secret talents?
I am a very good chef – my speciality is Mallorcan food.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
My mother told me “mas se consigue con mieles que con hieles” (you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar).
Interview by Samuel Dale