Bob Hunt, chief executive officer of Paradigm Mortgages and partner of The Mortgage Lender shares his thoughts on the industry, TML’s competitive pricing and some advice for the FCA.
1) How do you feel the launch of The Mortgage Lender is going to impact the mortgage market?
I think it is great timing after BREXIT; the industry needs a confidence boost and this is a great way of showing it. Indeed, now more than ever, the mortgage market needs variety and choice in specialist lending – where a lender can make good risk decisions but with a human approach. It is certainly positive to see new lenders are investing in the UK residential markets and hopefully it will encourage others to get involved too.
2) What do you think about The Mortgage Lender’s product range?
For a new lender TML is already covering a lot of the bases and the products are competitively priced against this peer group. I like the variety the product range offers, with two year fixed and trackers and also five year ranges. The products are tiered, and the client’s credit and overall profile determines which tier the client would qualify in. However, similar lenders in this space are typically pricing at 1 per cent higher so this should be advantageous to TML.
3) Are there other areas of the market where you’d like to see The Mortgage Lender offering products?
I would like to see some more choice for UK expats either; living with family abroad and intending to return to the UK or where the spouse is abroad and immediate family remaining in the UK following BREXIT and MCD which is now completely underserved in the UK. Also continued work with older clients in establishing borrowing through into retirement as there is still more room for improvement in this market space. The current range offers a wide range of options for clients and it may be wise to then look for gaps or new opportunities once the servicing levels are well-established.
4) Why did you want to be an introducer for The Mortgage Lender?
At Paradigm we always strive to bring innovation and value to our members, so partnering with new lenders like TML and helping them launch into the intermediary space is a really good fit.
5) What do you think The Mortgage Lender offers that its competitors don’t?
They offer a more flexible approach to borrowers who don’t tick all the boxes without compromising on choice and rate. They are also good with regards to their pricing, service levels and the support offered to intermediary firms.
6) What is your prediction for levels of mortgage borrowing this year?
Despite BREXIT, we still see a moderate increase in the market from 2015, ending up with gross lending between £230-235bn, with intermediaries taking an even larger share than ever.
7) If you could ask the Financial Conduct Authority’s acting chief executive Tracey McDermott to change one thing to make your life easier what would it be?
We have two points – to get rid of the ESIS and confusion around KFI documents and then also to take a close look at the legal side of the housing market, and then work with the legal profession to speed up their processes and service, which would clearly benefit the end customer.
8) What do you hope to be doing in five years’ time?
I’d like to be enjoying a Financial Services Industry that is in good shape, seeing a more stable regulatory environment, the enhanced use of technology and a competitive lender and provider environment, with a greater level of innovation and choice for all types of borrowers. I genuinely enjoy our industry hope to see Paradigm continuing to prosper working with brokers who continue to offer great value and advice to their clients.