"The tumbling stock markets and the emergency rate cuts we’ve seen in response to the virus has spooked not just consumers, but some lenders too."
We spoke to Andrew Sadler, BDM at Ipswich Building Society, about how it is supporting intermediaries throughout the Covid-19 outbreak and why he thinks more lenders will move into the specialist arena.
FR: As a BDM at Ipswich Building Society, what does your role involve and what does a typical day look like?
We see such a huge variety of cases and circumstances and we try to help wherever we can. Most of my time is spent out on the road visiting our brokers or at mortgage club events, although since coronavirus and the introduction of social distancing it’s looking like I’m going to be mostly based on the telephone over the coming weeks.
It sounds like a bit of a cliché, but no two days are the same here at the Ipswich and that’s probably what I love most about this role.
FR: What are Ipswich’s main aims or focuses in 2020? Do you have any exciting news or plans you can tell us about?
Our priority right now is to support our existing borrowers as well as new applicants as best we can at this extraordinary time, and we’re doing our best to help.
We’ve been working hard to make our fantastic products available to an even wider group of intermediaries by expanding our partnerships with key networks and clubs nationwide, and this will be continuing over the next few months. I think we play an important part in helping those borrowers who don’t fit the rigid, automated models of the high street lenders and we want to continue doing this in 2020.
FR: What trends do you expect to see within the specialist lending market in 2020?
Unless the current uncertainty causes funding challenges within this market, I expect to see more lenders coming into the specialist arena and possibly an increase in interest from larger, more mainstream lenders. Of course, coronavirus has thrown all of this into doubt but these trends might still continue into 2021 instead.
More choice is good for the broker and good for the customer. But it does mean that lenders already operating in specialist areas will have to continue to innovate and find new ways to help our customers.
FR: What are the biggest issues facing advisers in the current economic environment and what should they be aware of when dealing with clients?
Changes in people’s behaviours as we deal with the coronavirus pandemic has created huge pressures on businesses, from airlines to sole traders. The tumbling stock markets and the emergency rate cuts we’ve seen in response to the virus has spooked not just consumers, but some lenders too. The worst of coronavirus may be over by the summer but I think the effects will be felt for many years to come.
That said, will this turbulence create opportunities too? Yes – I think so, and lenders need to be brave without being seen as profiteering in a time of crisis.
FR: If you could see one headline about the mortgage market in 2020, what would it be?
'Mortgage market bounces back!'