You have just joined Loans Warehouse as a strategic adviser – do you think the sector has shed the negative image it had in the past?
Perceptions may not have changed everywhere, but the sector is very different post the credit crunch, and will change again with FCA regulation. Now is the time to dispel the myths and demonstrate the benefits that secured loans can deliver.
Compared to the boom years second charge lending is still relatively small – what do you think is currently stopping it from being bigger?
Credit markets are benefiting from the Bank of England’s Funding for Lending Scheme. More intermediaries focusing on whether this option would help their clients (and making referrals to specialists), would help the market to grow faster.
Fundamentally, there is a pool of borrowers unable to remortgage or get a further advance from their current lender. They will need other options. This pent up demand can be met affordably in the second mortgage market.
The secured loans market will come under the FCA’s umbrella from April next year – what effect do you think it will have? Will we see firms exit?
As with the mortgage market previously, some firms will decide not to go through an authorization process, and some firms may not pass the FCA’s requirements. The challenge is to ensure a seamless transition in customer service for firms in the market for the long haul like Loans Warehouse.
You were previously director general for the Council of Mortgage Lenders from 1996 to 2011 – what are you most proud of from your years in charge of the trade body?
Over a million new households became homeowners and achieved their aspiration, and a vibrant buy-to-let sector was created.
We published a Mortgage Code, and made CEMAP a compulsory qualification for mortgage advisers to increase professionalism.
I represented the industry without fear or favour, through good times and bad. And I left when I wanted to go, with my reputation at its peak because of the CML’s work to push back on the original MMR proposals.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
Keep smiling, have fun, and don’t believe everything you read about yourself in the media!
What is your favourite item of clothing?
My trademark has been a bright tie.
At the Intermediary Mortgage Lender Associations’ annual dinner a couple of years ago, then chairman John Heron recalled you as having a winning way with the ladies when you were at university together – what was your best chat up line?
My wife can’t remember! I think it was what I was wearing when I met her.