60 Seconds with… Matt Tristram, director at Loans Warehouse

Matt Tristram MS

Loans Warehouse launched in July this year a secured loans index – what’s it based on and how do you calculate it?
The Secured Loan Index is based on figures released to us directly by the lenders. We also take into consideration data produced by the FLA to accurately measure past patterns.

How much secured lending was being done in 2007 and how does that compare to now?
2007 was a turbulent time for the industry, as highlighted last week with the five-year anniversary of Northern Rock’s collapse. At its peak, the secured loan industry produced nearly £300m per month before sinking to levels as low as £16m in 2010. However, last month’s Secured Loan index showed that lending levels in July were at a 3-year high and we can also reveal that August was another excellent month for the sector.

Will the market ever return to its former glory?
I get very frustrated when people dismiss our industry with statements about how it will never return to its former levels. I’m not bold enough to state exactly what levels we’ll be at in five years but nothing is impossible, just things will have to be different.

Should the secured loans sector be regulated by the FSA?
Secured loans being regulated by the FSA/FCA could and should work and bring some much-needed recognition from the wider markets. However, secured loans and mortgages are not the same product and therefore should not be treated the same. Secured loans need to be a properly worked process with understanding on both sides improving.

Do you have any special talents?
I’m great at paying out secured loans, of course.

If you were a super hero what power would you have?
I’d like the ability to erase minds, to stop people dwelling on the past and instead learn from any mistakes and move swiftly on.

What book are you currently reading?
I recently read James Corden’s autobiography, which, whilst funny, shows what a lazy, lucky sod he’s been to get where he is today

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Never pay for stationary. Adam Brand, sales director at brokerage First Union Mortgages told us in the very early days of Loans Warehouse that lenders will always supply you with pads and pens and it’s now become a long running joke that Loans Warehouse has never paid for a pen.