In our latest Q&A session, we’ve been speaking to Norton Finance & Mortgages Ltd’s group national sales manager, Stephen Lawrence, and mortgage department sales manager, Melanie Whiting.
How do you feel the launch of The Mortgage Lender is going to impact the mortgage market?
We are hoping it will help to stimulate the area of the market that TML are in to bring more competition and products to help more customers with complex needs.
What do you think about The Mortgage Lender’s product range?
TML’s products are competitive but it would be helpful to have a wider range of fixed rates on the fees assisted products to offer more choice to customers.
Are there other areas of the market where you’d like to see The Mortgage Lender offering products?
It would be good to see more flexibility for customers with historic adverse to allow them to access finance within reason. Also more flexibility for the older generation as the market is gradually opening up to them but more needs to be done within mainstream otherwise it forces them down the complex route often penalising them with higher rates.
Why did you want to be an introducer for The Mortgage Lender?
We wanted to introduce to TML to ensure we offer a wider product range to customers and feel TML suit our business model.
What do you think The Mortgage Lender offers that its competitors don’t?
TML offer better solutions for the self employed due to the way they calculate the income and what they take into account allowing customers to borrow the maximum available working on a very common sense basis.
What is your prediction for levels of mortgage borrowing this year?
We predict it will remain static despite the uncertainty of Brexit, inflation and of course the unpredictability of the Trump presidency.
If you could change one piece of mortgage regulation what would it be and why?
For us there are several areas that need more clarification:
The vulnerable customer definition is very confused and is too open to interpretation.
Income and expenditure calculation assessments, as some lenders have implemented draconian rules, which leave some customers unable to access products within the market.
The older borrower rules for age and affordability need addressing as people are living and working longer and still need to access the market and be able to obtain a suitable range of products without being penalised by higher rates.
What do you hope to be doing in five years’ time?
Melanie: I would like to be sat on a Barbados beach, retired, after winning the lottery!
Stephen: I would like to be a pedal boat attendant in Tenerife.