"The ‘uncertainty’ within the market will clearly pose its own issues but it’s for everyone involved to work together, keep innovating and embrace technology."
We spoke to Paul Sawford, business development manager at Tipton and Coseley Building Society, about how working life has changed since the outbreak of Covid-19 and what the lending market will look like over the next 12 months.
FR: As a BDM at the Tipton, how has life changed since the outbreak of Covid-19 and what does a 'typical day' now look like for you?
My working day is pretty different now in so much as I’m obviously not going out and about on broker visits to either their offices or homes, so I’ve had to get used to using home as my full-time office. It would start with a fresh cup of coffee, breakfast and fire up the computer. It’s then down engaging with my broker and packager contacts by way of either email, telephone appointments and/or zoom meetings. My aim is to ensure they have an up-to-date picture of our product/criteria offering to give any possible solution to their respective enquiry.
FR: How will the Covid-19 outbreak continue to affect the market and how can lenders and advisers overcome these difficulties?
Covid-19 will continue to affect the market in many ways mainly due to the uncertainty around job security, the potential impact on property values and the reduction of mortgage deals available to brokers for their clients. The ‘uncertainty’ within the market will clearly pose its own issues but it’s for everyone involved to work together, keep innovating and embrace technology.
FR: How can the industry continue to support later life and first-time buyer clients during the pandemic and beyond?
With first-time buyers and the current lack of high LTV deals available at this present time, we have relaunched our innovative Family Assist - which can help first time buyers with either a low deposit or none at all, whereby a parent is willing to allow either a charge on their property or deposit savings with the Tipton. Also, any lender offering Joint Borrower Sole Proprietor (JBSP), offer a potential solution to both first-time buyers and later life lending clients respectively. Supporting the later life market is also a key part of our strategy to offer mortgages throughout a customer’s lifetime – we have recently enhanced our criteria on our later life lending products offering more support for this sector as well as continuing to offer retirement interest-only (RIO) mortgages.
FR: What will the lending market look like over the next 12 months?
That will be an interesting one to keep tabs on over the next 6 to 12 months as lenders will clearly look for their individual market share but clearly will have one eye on PRA regulations and funding lines. This can be done by keeping the awareness of any appropriate products available in this sector and how relevant it is to the overall mortgage market. Specialist lenders, like ourselves, will continue to play a pivotal role alongside the traditional high street lenders.
FR: How has technology helped keep the market moving over the past couple of months?
Technology has clearly assisted the market over the last three months and will continue to do so moving forward, as more lenders and advisers have turned to online platforms for their business to conduct client interviews for both mortgages and protection, whilst adapting to the requirement to work from home. Desktop and automated valuations have helped keep the market moving and it has also helped the conveyancing part of any transaction to allow clients to complete their house moves and remortgage transactions.
FR: If you could see one headline about the financial services in 2020, what would it be?
'What does the new normal look like in 2020 and beyond?'