An exciting time for retirement lending, a ‘greenhouse’ of ideas for product development, a cutting-edge online portal – and a requirement for bigger ears
More2Life recently brought out its lowest lifetime mortgage rate. Can you tell us why?
The changes we have made to our lifetime mortgage rates reflect the falling interest rates we have experienced across the industry of late. We feel it is really important that the benefit of this is passed on to our customers and have therefore changed our products accordingly.
What else can brokers and borrowers expect from More2Life this year?
It is a really exciting period in the retirement lending market and there has arguably never been a better time for intermediaries to start advising on later-life lending.
We are determined to continue to innovate and grow, and have realistic plans to build on our position. The property wealth controlled by the over-65s is currently worth more than £1.4tn and there is huge scope for consumer choice to be widened.
Last year we saw some innovation in the equity release market but more can be done. We expect this to appear in the latter part of 2016 and well into 2017, when it will accelerate as new funders and products enter the market, providing a wider variety of options for customers.
At More2Life we have what we call our ‘greenhouse’ of ideas for future product development, which we are discussing with existing and potential new funders. We are particularly interested in developing flexible loans that will help customers transition from their interest-paying mortgages to retirement loans. This will give clients the choice to pay all or part of the interest and/or convert it to a rollup.
We also recognise the importance of quality service to brokers and their customers. With this in mind, we have launched a cutting-edge online portal, meaning we have been able to reduce not just the length of time from when an application is submitted to when an offer is made, but also the amount of time from offer to completion.
As a child, what was your dream job?
From a young age I wanted to make a difference with regard to social injustice. My dream was to become an MP, or even prime minister. However, I have probably missed the boat on that one now.
Do you have any secret talents?
I can hold a business card, credit card or playing card in the crease of my forehead.I am sure the industry will never again look at my forehead in the same way. I can also do a selection of mind-reading magic tricks.
What are your hobbies?
Because my work involves a fair amount of travelling, I like to spend as much time as possible with my four children. Recently, I have started wild camping, Lancashire has some great settings for this.
What is the best advice you have received?
Grow bigger ears. Listening to what others have to say is so important: you never know what you may learn or pick up along the way.
Who is your all-time hero, and why?
My grandfather. He survived for 28 days in an open boat after his ship was torpedoed and sunk in the Second World War. He taught me that things will always work out if you are strong-minded and driven to achieve what is important to you.
If you were not in your current role, what would you like to be doing?
I love nature so, in an ideal world, I would like to be the BBC’s understudy to Sir David Attenborough.
What is the toughest decision you have ever had to make?
I have never faced a really tough decision. Compared to generations gone by, we have had it easy and I appreciate that every day.
If you were Chancellor for a day, what would you do?
Promote the need for people to properly consider how their property wealth can help them achieve a more comfortable retirement. Getting a grip on what is out there allows you to be more flexible in your plans.
It is also important that people are encouraged to think about this and educate themselves ahead of time, before they reach retirement age. Preparation is key.
Year established: 2007
Headcount: About 45
Turnover last year: £14.32m
Address: more 2 life, PO Box 1168
Preston PR2 0GB
Tel: 03454 150 150
More2Life was founded in 2007 and is now the third-largest lender in equity release by volume of sales.