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60 Seconds with… Martin Stewart, director, London Money


Following the recent proposal by the Scottish government that it will look to reform the current Stamp Duty slab structure next April, should Westminster follows suit?

Absolutely. How to do it, I am not sure. They would have to raise bandings, for example, start taxing at higher levels. I do not think we can move away from the slab structure entirely right now although the argument has been around for some time. A progressive tax is a good idea but historically they have just changed the bandings. To change the structure might be a bit brutal and too much too soon but a positive start would be to make the initial threshold higher.

What impact will HSBC have on the broker market?

This is a difficult question as it depends on certain factors. I suspect it will have to be very tight on its criteria simply so it can handle the business volumes it will receive thanks to the low rates it has. If the market was all about rates, it would be all about HSBC but the key issue in the modern market is simple. Will the borrower get the money? In truth, if HSBC is offering my client 1.75 per cent and Woolwich was offering 1.99 per cent, I would more than likely recommend the Woolwich because they are more likely to get the property.

As an avid Twitter user, how important is it to your business? And what tips would you offer other brokers?

It is essential. I would say currently, Twitter is the most important aspect of our marketing plans. I do not do Facebook because frankly I am too old for all that. 

Aside from winning the Mortgage Strategy caption competition recently, what would you list as your biggest achievement so far?

That is my biggest achievement. Honestly speaking, I would say still being in the industry after the last five years is a pretty significant achievement. You look at the brokers left in the market and you see its the quality players that did things the right way and that must be commended.

What would you be doing if you were not a broker?

If I was not doing this I would be a writer. Preferably 140 characters at a time. 

What is your favourite film and why?

The Wolf of Wall Street as it almost reminded me of the career I could have had. 



Time is right for criteria rethink

Just a few months ago, general consensus was that we would see the first round of rate rises before Christmas but this now seems to have been pushed out to next spring/summer. As a result, swap rates fell and lenders reacted by cutting rates.  At the same time, the market in London and the South-east […]


Aldermore and Virgin delay floats

A recent decline in global equity markets has forced Aldermore to cancel and Virgin Money to delay their planned stockmarket floats. At the start of last week, Aldermore had confirmed it had scrapped its plans to launch an IPO because global equity markets had slumped. The FTSE had fallen around 10 per cent in a […]


Media Spotlight: Stress Test – A Reflection on Financial Crises by Timothy Geithner

Many a book has been published – and reviewed – on the financial crisis of 2007/08 and there have been a myriad of theories as to why and how the crash happened. However, few could be better placed to discuss what actually happened behind closed doors in Wall Street and Washington during that troubled time […]


Tesco Bank eyes entry into the broker market

Tesco Bank is eyeing an entry into the broker market, Mortgage Strategy understands. It is understood Tesco Bank has consulted with brokers over such a move in recent months and sources say the direct-only lender could begin distributing through intermediaries by the second quarter of next year. However, it is thought Tesco has not come […]

A question of service

Roy Armitage, head of credit, LendInvest Selling a loan is the part of a lender’s workload most visible to brokers and borrowers. Just as crucial – but less frequently observed – is how that lender services that loan. A commitment to quality servicing is one that’s front and centre for us at LendInvest and it’s […]


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