Abbey for Intermediaries recently launched a current account referral platform – what’s been the response from intermediaries to it?
Our intermediary partners have been very positive about the launch of the Santander current account referral, which is great news. The feedback from intermediaries is that in challenging market conditions, they are looking to add more value and provide a holistic service that helps meet their client’s wider financial needs. The referral platform is one way that they can achieve this as customers with a 123 current account will receive 1 per cent cashback on their monthly Santander mortgage payments up to a maximum of £1,000 per month.
You recently opened up your 60 per cent LTV 10-year fix to intermediaries – is there an appetite for consumers for this type of long-term fix?
We launched our lowest ever 10-year fix through the intermediary market earlier this month and the product has been well received. Many borrowers are opting for the stability of a fixed rate deal in today’s economic environment and while longer-term fixes won’t be suitable for every borrower, including them in our range provides intermediaries and their clients with more choice.
There have been a number of stories from brokers concerned that a lack of surveyors is slowing the market down – do you share these fears?
The future for the intermediary market remains strong, with industry data showing the share of mortgage lending undertaken through intermediaries has increased from six months ago. We’ve seen consolidation across our industry since the onset of the financial crisis and while we are bound to see stress at different times, I’m confident that as an industry, we can manage this and support the increase in market activity.
What’s your favourite item of clothing?
I think it would be my Birkenstock sandals – usually when I am wearing them the weather is warm and I am heading towards a local beer garden for a nice cold drink.
As a child, what did you dream of doing when you grew up?
Becoming a sports reporter – I grew up in Scotland following an English football team. It was the time before internet and instant mobile news and I was left to follow sports in the written Scottish press which was often focused on local events. I always thought I could be a sports reporter and deliver a wider coverage. Now the internet pushes stories into every corner of the globe with the smallest detail covered so the issue has disappeared and you can follow your local team from anywhere.
When and where were you happiest?
I hope I am always happy. I always look forward to new challenges and events and I have two young children and like most people have loved the adventure of them being born and their development. I think I am happiest when we are about to embark on a family holiday together.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Always treat others how you would want to be treated yourself.