One to One: Mark Webster, head of business development, Capita Mortgage Services

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The importance of third-party servicers, the development of clever broker-lender interfaces and the benefit of not taking oneself too seriously

As someone who has spent his entire career in third-party servicing, can you tell us how important these firms are for mortgage brokers and their clients?

Third-party service providers play an important part in the mortgage process. With an increasing focus on mortgage origination and the sheer percentage of new business being written through the broker channel, third-party administrators are, unsurprisingly, working on ever more efficient ways to help customers acquire a loan. Innovation in both the systems that support the process and the experience itself is a high priority.

Many third-party servicers are using their significant experience of the UK mortgage market to help established lenders and new entrants to differentiate and compete for intermediary-placed business. Mortgage brokers themselves require a fast, efficient and consistent experience when dealing with a mortgage lender and therefore there has been a lot of focus on development of clever interfaces to make sure that interaction with the lender, whether through data capture and submission or via the underwriting teams, meets their exacting standards.

What developments are afoot in the sector and what does Capita have in store for 2016?

We will see much more development of mortgage origination software and processes as the market continues to grow. We will also see servicers extend their ranges to support the variety of clients and their differing needs.

For example, private equity and hedge funds purchasing portfolios require support in due diligence, data analytics and advanced loan workout strategies, while new entrants require support with regulatory applications and the development of digital mortgage propositions.

I believe third-party servicers now have the level of investment and backing required to innovate and provide true value to the lending community. This is great news for mortgage outsourcing as a challenger to an ‘in-house’ alternative.

At Capita, we will continue to focus on all areas mentioned above. We are also uniquely placed to help organisations transform existing mortgage operations and can demonstrate a clear record of transformation success across a number of markets and sectors. We want to work with all types of lender to make their operations more efficient while improving customer experiences.

What is the best advice you have received?

My dad taught me at a young age to learn to “take the mickey out of myself”. He said if I did not master that, life would be difficult. Not taking myself too seriously has helped throughout the past 20 years in the mortgage industry. A sense of humour has been vital (especially through the credit crunch) and I thank my parents immeasurably for their support and guidance.

Who is your all-time hero and why?

Sir Ranulph Fiennes OBE. He is an incredible individual with the highest mental resolve and determination. I admire his humility despite all the amazing challenges he has faced and conquered. He has a very simple take on complicated matters and I think as a nation we could learn a lot from characters such as him.

As a child, what was your dream job?

I have always had a love of cars; I seem to absorb useless information about them. I always saw myself working with exotic and expensive marques in some capacity. In 1996, I was faced with a decision: to work in a car showroom or as a mortgage servicer. Doh…

Do you have any secret talents?

As a junior I played a lot of table tennis and got to travel all over the place. Between the ages of nine and 15 I also had a secret life as a crown-green bowler. I’m going to need to rely on my ‘best piece of advice’ above after revealing this.

COMPANY PROFILE

  • Headcount: 5,000+
  • Servicing assets: Primary and commercial across all asset classes
  • Address: 40 Dukes Place, London
  • Tel: +44 (0)207 393 6223

History

Capita Asset Services has more than 5,700 staff dedicated to creating efficiencies for financial services organisations. Its operations are based in the UK, Ireland, Jersey and mainland Europe, with representative offices in the US and Asia.

The asset services division of Capita Plc is made up of teams spanning corporate solutions, debt solutions, retail banking, shareholder solutions, fund solutions and private client solutions. We have a 23 per cent share in the UK financial services BPO market The retail banking team within asset services specialises in core mortgage and loan origination, customer management services and the full spectrum of collections management. We also help client organisations by providing specialist analytics and risk management services as well as remediation services.