Do you think we are heading towards a housing bubble?
In short, no. For a housing bubble to grow, it needs to be supported at some stage by excessive lending – with the Mortgage Market Review coming in shortly, and following the recession, I can’t see that happening. That’s also where the new Bank of England governor Mark Carney comes in to control that issue if required.
How important is twitter to your business?
Very important. It’s all about engagement – making people aware of what is really going on in the mortgage market. I got involved in Twitter over three years ago as I saw that very few brokers were involved at that time. It’s all about seeing what the future is for developing the business. I like to be ahead of the curve.
The MMR will hit in April next year – what are you doing to prepare?
We’re absorbing as much information as it becomes available – we’re with a strong network, so we’re already doing a lot of the things required for assessing client affordability. With my own background with underwriting for high street lenders, I ask a lot of questions – which is sometimes a surprise for clients who last dealt with a broker 5 years ago.
Do you think the MMR will result in lenders placing even more of their business via brokers?
Tough to say at this stage – as brokers, we’re ideally placed to assist them, but it depends on how the lenders choose to evolve. I’d like to see more lenders attending industry events – it’s getting better, and we are starting to hear from BDMs again, who disappeared completely for a while!
Should they pay brokers more in terms of the proc fees that they provide?
Yes. Our overheads in order to trade are always increasing, and with providing a professional service to clients, brokers are a huge asset to lenders. I’ve seen it from both sides, from when I worked with Cheltenham & Gloucester. If you took brokers’ input out of that business, as Lloyds TSB did, then you saw the end result. No business.
What’s the best restaurant you have ever been to?
There’s a fantastic restaurant in our town, Lymington called Rivaaz – the customer service and food are out of this world.
When you were younger what did you want to do for a job when you grew up?
From the age of 5, I wanted to play football for Southampton.That was always my main focus. I think they dodged a bullet there. The closest I got was work experience there when I was studying business and finance at college.
What’s your favourite item of clothing?
I spend the majority of the week wearing a suit, so for me it’s casual when I get home – I can quite happily wear shorts in winter.