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Yorkshire to recruit underwriters in new apprenticeship scheme

Yorkshire Building Society is planning to launch an apprenticeship scheme to train mortgage underwriters.

Yesterday, MP Esther McVey visited the mutual as it launched a seperate, more general apprenticeship scheme which will see 150 people trained to perform customer service roles.

But YBS says it plans to launch an additional scheme for mortgage underwriters, although it has not decided how many people it will employ at this time.

YBS chief executive Chris Pilling says: “Mortgage underwriting is a skilled role which has a central part to play in our business and the industry as a whole so we hope to work with fellow building societies and banks to establish a new apprenticeship standard for others to follow.

“Our apprenticeship scheme will offer 150 people the chance to develop a career with a one of the country’s biggest mortgage lenders and we are delighted to be able to offer these opportunities over the coming years.”


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  • Seagull 17th April 2015 at 2:03 pm

    GHU in fairness, I get the impression that your employers are more traditional in their underwriting practices, we brokers (especially those of us that once worked for lenders) see more and more examples of incredulous “underwriting” practices that bear no relevance to proven canons of lending. Unable to read basic Company accounts, basic affordability incompetence etc, it’s not the fault of those in the roles it’s the lack of training and authority given to them. For example, 45 year old couple taking out repayment mortgage over 20 years advised to reduce term to 19 years as they have no current pension provision which would be require to cover 6 months after their 65th birthdays surely the fact that, as repayment mortgage is sought, outstanding mortgage would amount to a couple of thousand by that time should allow that to be overridden rather than squeeze term? There are numerous examples which would be laughable if not such an important part of peoples life/futures, marginal cases flying through because they tick all boxes, quality applicants declined because one box remains unticked. The need to process volume at low cost has caused credit scoring to become not a lending decision tool but the only way. I’m all for progress but sometimes this should be supported by the best of what always worked before.

  • Grey Haired Underwriter 14th April 2015 at 12:20 pm

    Ohh dear! I appear to have been unduly sensitive when I referred to the interjection as being silly! May I defer to greater experience and knowledge in this respect. And as to the concealment of my identity I do so in order to be able to express my opinions and not necessarily have them associated with the company I work for. I thought that showed some respect for my employer but others obviously disagree.

    For the record I have worked in the finance sector for 39 years but I don’t consider that to be anything other than a period of time. Things ain’t wot they used to be.

  • Old Mortgage Bloke 13th April 2015 at 6:11 pm

    GHU is absolutely right, this should be viewed as a very positive move by YBS. It’s quite staggering how negative and cynical some people can be. Don’t we want new people coming into the industry that can have full training and be developed.

    Some of the best forward thinking mortgage brokers have apprenticeships in place for advisers – are they wrong to do that???

  • Michael.White.BoutiqueCapital - Bridging Loans 13th April 2015 at 5:24 pm

    Naughty me, I sometimes forget that making acerbic comments can be taken a little too seriously by those people with somewhat limited intelligence. I suppose it’s the price of having too cutting a sense of humour for many to understand… particularly ‘Grey-haired@ Underwriters? 🙂

    And, for the record, I have worked in the banking and mortgage sector for more than 38 years. Check me out Unlike our grey-haired friend I have no reason to concerned about revealing my true identity…

  • Good Mortgage Man 13th April 2015 at 2:24 pm

    A sixteen year old underwriting mortgages!? Really? Most sixteen year olds I meet have no idea of what a mortgage even is! I am all in favour of apprenticeships. I think it is far better to have two year’s work experience at 18 than it is to have two A Levels, but surely there are just some jobs that are not suitable.
    A would have thought that one of the most valuable tools an underwriter has, is life experience that should result in common sense decisions. That is not going to be prevalent with the vast majority of teenagers…

  • Grey Haired Underwriter 13th April 2015 at 1:53 pm

    Thanks for the prompt Joe and I am bound to admit that I am mightily concerned that a representative from a bridging loan company should make such a rather silly interjection.

    The simple fact is that one positive aspect of MMR was the need for ‘human involvement in the assessment of affordability’ and finding someone who can do that is not as easy as it might seem. Just look at the ads for experienced underwriters on various websites and it will be seen that finding a good underwriter is tougher than ever. ‘The computer says no’ method is getting to be somewhat antiquated as of course the credit score lenders have had to adjust the score upward and as a consequence are not getting the volumes they want. In order to compensate they now need skilled involvement but that just isn’t available (and good underwriters are getting to be very expensive) so what better way to address the situation than to ‘grow your own’. I am pleased at this move but dismayed at the swingeing comments made by someone who obviously doesn’t understand the needs of the first charge market.

    Let us hope that bridging lending becomes fully Regulated and maybe there will be a different reaction.

  • joe average 10th April 2015 at 8:40 pm

    Grey Haired Umderwriter?

  • Michael.White.BoutiqueCapital - Bridging Loans 10th April 2015 at 11:11 am

    Makes sense……… the average mortgage ‘Underwriter’ these days is little more than an administration/’computer says no’, box ticker with very little in the way of empowerment or mandate. Therefore giving the job to a 16 or 17 year old is reasonably consistent and arguably a more honest approach to the work. Moreover, it saves YBS money in salaries.