Intergenerational mortgages to help children onto the property ladder, gladiatorial ambitions, and the art of balancing coins on one’s elbow after a couple of pints
You’ve recently launched an ‘intergenerational’ mortgage. Can you walk us through the thinking behind that and how it works?
It is very much aimed at getting people on the property ladder at a time when affordability and deposit requirements are quite challenging. We actually co-created it with St James’s Place and this seemed to map across their customer base. With the knowledge they have about their marketplace, it enabled us to develop a product that is very much aimed at assisting children to get on the property ladder and they can be supported by parents and grandparents in the purchasing of that property.
It is a perfect product for us but also it matches very much the customer base of SJP. They will have that as an exclusive for a period of time as they helped design it with us.
Do you have plans to roll it out to the wider broker community in the future?
Initially it will be an exclusive with SJP for 12 months. At the end of that 12-month period we will see where we are. I imagine it will generate a lot of interest in the marketplace. It is a product that has only been out a few days and over the next few weeks we will be monitoring its success.
We are really excited about it and we think this is something that will help the market and a number of people get onto the property ladder.
What else can brokers expect to see from Metro Bank this year?
We always have the customer and broker at the core of what we do. We are looking at areas of innovation. Technology is an area we will work heavily on. It comes on the back of the rate-switching portal we launched last year that pays brokers a procuration fee. That will be something we will look to build on.
But probably the most important thing we will do this year is what we have always done, which is listen to what the market is telling us and ultimately reacting and implementing off the back of that. We have already brought in two new product ranges this year and one of the things we have introduced is the ability to use desktop valuations to get to day one offers when the broker has uploaded all of the documentation.
These are the sort of things the market should expect from us. Also, we are looking at a number of different sectors at the moment.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
My dream job was a professional tennis player.I am an absolute sports fanatic and it has always been a part of my life. The one thing I like about tennis is that it is not just a gladiatorial sport, it is also a strategic sport. But the one barrier to me achieving that was a lack of talent.
Do you have any secret talents?
Both are pub related. I can flip and catch 20 beer mats and also I can balance up to 50 coins on my right elbow and catch them in my right hand. When you have had a couple of pints, people are quite impressed by the fact you can do it.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
It was from my late father. He always used to say: “A good friend warns you of danger whereas a great friend stands between you and danger.” That sums up what a great friend is and, to me, you probably only have a handful of great friends and they are incredibly important.
Who is your all-time hero and why?
It’s two people equally. The first is my 12-year-old son, Harry. He is autistic and he struggles with day-to-day life. But he does it with a great deal of humour and copes with any prejudice he encounters very well. The second is my daughter, Harry’s elder sister, purely because of the way she copes with having a brother who has special needs and the way she makes minor sacrifices in life to help him with the condition he has.
If you weren’t in your current role, what would you be doing?
Apart from being on a golf course or on a beach with my children, I’d probably be doing some mad charity exploit.
Year established: 2010
Headcount: Over 2,000
Address: One Southampton Row, WC1B 5HA
Tel: 0345 0808 500
Metro Bank, launched in 2010 as the first new high street bank in more than 100 years. It offers personal, business and private banking services. Its mortgage offering covers both residential and buy-to-let products directly and through a network of mortgage intermediaries, as well as providing individual underwriting and a retention proposition.
In just under six years, it has grown to more than 40 stores, with over 717,000 business and personal accounts, has lent more than £4bn and have over £5.8bn in deposits.