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One to One: Charles McDowell, Aldermore

Further professionalisation of the buy-to-let market, pleasure in helping people to buy a home, high hopes for those who don’t fit the mould – and a love of lycra

As commercial director of mortgages at Aldermore, what are your key responsibilities on a day-to-day basis?

I am responsible for product development, pricing and distribution across our mortgage lending division, including residential, commercial, property development and buy-to-let (from single properties to unlimited portfolios, in individual name and limited companies).

How important are mortgage brokers to the success of your business?

Brokers have been, and always will be, absolutely fundamental to Aldermore’s success.

We would not be where we are today and will not achieve our future ambitions without the relationship with our brokers. They play a vital role in a healthy mortgage market and are integral for ensuring that customers receive the best outcome and deal for what is one of the most critical financial transactions of their lives.

As a buy-to-let lender, how is Aldermore adjusting to the changing face of the market following the various tax and affordability changes in the sector of late?

We expect to see further professionalisation of this market, with the rental sector recognised as integral and here to stay.

As a specialist lender in the BTL market, adaptable to change through our expert manual underwriting and our personal approach, we are committed to providing excellent service for mortgage brokers and BTL landlords with any size of portfolio.

What is your favourite part of your job?

Dealing with brokers on a day-to-day basis to ensure we give customers the best products, enabling them to buy houses and homes. It is a very rewarding business to be a part of.

Then there is the human aspect, which is about helping people to make a home. Each day I receive an email that informs me how many mortgages completed the previous day; it puts into perspective just how important mortgage lending is.

In addition, the fact that the mortgage industry is very cutting edge and relevant to the wider UK economy, supporting consumers in all walks of life, helps to keep my role exciting.

What plans are in place for business growth at Aldermore this year?

We will continue to push the envelope in product development, as well as deliver excellent service with the help of our expert underwriters.

What is your hope for the market overall in the next 12 months?

I would like to see it evolve to better serve those who typically do not fit the cookie cutter mould.

Some of the specialist banks and lenders are already making headway with this but it would be good to see further developments in this area, offering support to all customers.

If you had not chosen this career path, what else would you have liked to do?

I’d like to have been a motorsport engineer.

Who is your all-time hero, and why?

Dutch former footballer Dennis Bergkamp – just because he’s Dennis Bergkamp.

What was the last film you saw at the cinema?

I only get to the cinema with my son these days, so the choice is limited; the last film was Guardians of the Galaxy 2.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Don the lycra and get on my bike.

What is the best advice you have received?

‘Grasp the nettle and just go for it.’

If you were chancellor for a day, what would be your priorities?

To kickstart the housebuilding sector and start freeing up certain parts of greenbelt land.

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