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One to One: Rob Pheasey, chief executive, Marsden Building Society

Combining a traditional, personal approach with modern lending solutions, setting high standards on service – and admiration for a brave cartoon fish

What is the ethos of Marsden Building Society?

‘Traditional values with a modern approach.’

We are very proud of our reputation for service and quality and want to develop that further. The Marsden has huge ambitions to continue to grow, improving the experience that intermediaries and members have with us.

We review every mortgage case individually, don’t rely on credit scoring and look at cases with a common-sense approach. We think this personal approach, combined with our modern lending solutions such as older-borrower mortgages, means we continue to challenge and grow.

How big a role does the mortgage industry play in the success of the society?

A big part. Marsden’s lending operation is dependent upon the support we receive from our intermediary partners.

Last year we increased gross lending by almost 40 per cent and, of the £120m we lent, almost 95 per cent came through the intermediary market.

What part do mortgage brokers play in that success?

Mortgage brokers are hugely important to the Marsden; they help us extend our access nationally and support the delivery of our lending solutions.

This is why we place a huge importance on the service that we provide to mortgage brokers working with us: supporting case enquiries; always taking a second look; working with intermediaries and their clients to find solutions; and consistently meeting the expectation we have set on service.

We are far from complacent, however. As the intermediary marketplace has a vital role to play in our future, we know we need to continue to adapt to brokers’ needs.

Is there anything specific you’d like to achieve as a business this year?

We want the experience of dealing with the Marsden to be second to none.

This year we’ve increased our support when welcoming new BDMs and underwriters to the team. We continue to review our service to ensure we hit the standards we’ve promised, and we’re also hoping to launch some new products.

Which one change would you like to see in the market overall?

If I had a magic wand, I would build more support around homeownership. It remains a significant challenge for society to better support those who aspire to homeownership at an early point in life.

The innovation we are seeing in the mortgage market in support of the ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’ is a welcome development, but the continuing widening of incomes relative to house prices remains a concern.

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

Farming or estate management.

Who is your all-time hero, and why?

Nemo, from Finding Nemo – for being bold and adventurous, and never giving up!

Do you have any secret talents?

An enthusiasm and perhaps a growing talent for Italian cooking. My signature dish, spaghetti meatballs, goes down a treat in the Pheasey household.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I enjoy spending time with people who make me smile

What is the best advice you have received?

Take something out of every day.

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

If we’re talking of the impossible… I’d try to preside over an economy that generated sufficient revenue to provide for a fairer society and a better quality of services, and that was accepted by all.

Company history

Year established: 1860
Headcount: 85
Address: 6-20 Russell Street, Nelson, Lancashire
Tel: 01282 440583

Marsden Building Society offers lending solutions for mortgage intermediaries and their clients with its approach and product range: residential, buy-to-let and older



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