At the strategy summit Some people were calling brokers who are not specialists in a specific field, like new-build or buy-to-let, dabblers – is this right?
I don’t think it is right to describe brokers who aren’t specialists as dabblers. Brokers are specialists in understanding and satisfying clients’ needs in different product areas. They might be involved in buy-to-let or equity release but they have to become experts in fulfilling customer requirements.
What is the future for appointed representative and directly authorised brokers? Will we see a reduction in DA numbers?
We are going through exactly same process as we did in 2004 where people with vested interests are trying to knock the DA model, saying it’s not sustainable. That’s not the case – people who want to remain DA can do so without any issues. I think we’ve got to the point where people who are AR brokers probably like it and those who are DA brokers probably like it, so we won’t see much migration from one to another.
In your work as an expert witness, is there any pattern in the mortgage fraud you are seeing?
During the downturn in the 1990s it was perceived that lenders got it wrong and it was their fault. In this downturn we have seen a substantial increase in police forces taking action against someone who has claimed an income of a certain figure and have found out through Inland Revenue that it’s fraud. So this time we’re seeing a lot more work in the criminal courts.
Which three people would you invite to a party and why?
Martin Luther King, because he was a brilliant orator, Winston Churchill, for the same reason, and Adolf Hitler, as I’d like to ask him what on earth he was on about. That should make for an interesting debate over port.
If you weren’t in financial services, what would you be doing?
I would go back to being a lifeguard like I was when I was a student, where all I did was my job and then go home. It didn’t raise a lot of money but I wasn’t pulled in different directions.
Apart from property what’s been your most expensive purchase?
Other than cars, a nice tenor saxophone.
If you could have a super-power what would it be?
To scale buildings like Spiderman does.
Interview by Robert Thickett