View more on these topics

60 seconds with…Neil Warman

NEIL_WARMAN.jpg

Neil Warman
chief commercial and finance officer
hml

How do you think lenders can better manage arrears?
It depends what the lender is trying to achieve as the management of customers will change according to the lender’s strategy. We’re managing the mortgage accounts of more than 30 lenders, many of which have sold their products through the intermediary market, and they all do things differently. But we’ve found that as a rule, the sooner you engage with borrowers the more likely you are to agree a solution.

Does a reduction in arrears mean the economic outlook is improving?
It means that we’ve seen a reduction in the arrears we’re managing at the moment but everything is not hunky-dory. The Department for Work and Pensions’ reduced support for borrowers will contribute towards an increase in arrears in the last quarter of this year and there are lots of other factors that are all finely balanced at the moment. It only takes one of them, for example, unemployment or interest rates, to go the wrong way and the situation could change overnight.

Are there any similarities between the challenges you and mortgage advisers are facing?
Yes, particularly around customer experience and changing demands. We can’t dictate to our clients’ customers that they should deal with us in a certain way between certain hours anymore. We have to provide the facilities so they can deal with us when and how they want to. Brokers are good at providing a bespoke customer experience but they will also be facing the challenge of providing customers with the information they want, at a time they want, in the way they want.

What do you foresee happening over the next year?
We’ll start to see the market of the future take shape. The mortgage industry has taken a beating in the past few years but it’s a fundamental part of the UK’s psyche. People will always want to move house and demand for mortgages is there. I think we’ll see some innovative ways in which lenders meet the needs of borrowers and more competition from new entrants.

Have you got any evidence for this?
Yes, we know mortgage advisers are keen to see more choice and availability for their clients and we’ve seen lots of behind-the-scenes activity from new and existing lenders that are trying to deliver for them. The challenge at the moment is around adequate capitalisation, funding and authorisation, rather than simply the desire to lend.

Interview by Christine Toner

Recommended

RAY BOULGER, BROKER PROC, FEES WILL VARY

Outsourcing affordability checks may create two-tier proc fee model

Industry expert Ray Boulger has warned that a two-tier system of brokers may be created if lenders outsource affordability checks to them. Ray Boulger, senior technical manager at John Charcol, says different proc fees may apply to brokers who are trusted by lenders and those who are not. In a feature for Mortgage Strategy TV […]

Income protection

A tailored approach to protection

By Ian Smart, Product Architect, Royal London In an ideal world, clients would be able to afford as much protection cover as they wanted, but few would describe current times as anything approaching ideal. But this doesn’t mean that they have to indulge in an either/or decision that results in missing out on some essential […]

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up