Last month Kent Reliance changed its valuation criteria, including reducing the period for which a valuation applies from six months to four months. What was the reasoning?
It was informed by advice from our independent third-party valuer and follows guidance from Rics on the potential for short-term valuation uncertainty. However, with loans completing on average within three months of the valuation, this period remains adequate for most borrowers.
What is your take on the adjustments to tax and underwriting standards that have come into play for the buy-to-let market?
As a market, we must recognise that mortgage lending has never been such a serious business. The direction of travel set by recent legislation demands a higher level of performance from lenders and brokers alike. It is heightening expectations and professionalising the market, and it signals the end of the amateur landlord as well as a warning for lenders that don’t have robust, scalable and flexible business models.
Brokers will rightly ask more from their lender partners (and vice versa), so deepening trust and developing long-term relationships will be the key to success in 2017 and beyond. In terms of lending levels, some reduction in the rate of growth seems inevitable as the amateur landlord finds it more difficult to enter the market.
However, the sector remains attractive to the professional and we expect to see it continue to grow – just at a slightly lower pace.
What are the main priorities at Kent Reliance?
This year has been about expanding and developing our distribution and recruiting the right sales team to make it happen. We’ve forged partnerships with large networks to complement existing relationships and hired the best industry professionals to provide nationwide support.
We’ve been taking specialist mortgage lending into the mainstream and can now provide solutions from across the group’s proposition.
How long have you been in your current role and where were you previously?
I’ve been at OneSavings Bank since December 2015, having joined as sales director with responsibility for sales and distribution across the InterBay Commercial, Kent Reliance and Prestige Finance brands.
Previously I spent 14 years at Nationwide, where I was a senior member of the corporate account team and helped launch the Nationwide for Intermediaries proposition. I’ve also worked at Mortgage Trust and Portman Building Society.
What appeals to you about this market?
Like most people in the industry I chose it because every day is different. Over the years it’s enabled me to meet and work with great people.
Who is your all-time hero, and why?
My father. He instilled in me that, if you always work hard, you will get the rewards.
Do you have any secret talents?
I do a rather good impression of Mortgages for Business’s David Whittaker in an irate mood, and no, I haven’t done it in front of him yet.
How do you spend your spare time?
Moonlighting as ‘Moloney’s Taxi Service’ to my three kids – and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
If you had not chosen this career path, what else would you have liked to do?
I always fancied a career in the medical profession but realised early on that I wasn’t bright enough. I had the bedside manner but not the intelligence.
What is the best advice you have received?
John Eastgate (sales and marketing director at OneSavings Bank) told me to join OSB.
If you were chancellor for a day, what would be your priorities?
Set economic policies that seek to achieve the best outcomes and don’t pander to audiences. That’s one of many reasons why I will never be chancellor.