Navigating a turbulent 2023
By Alison Pallett, Sales Director at The Nottingham for Intermediaries
There’s no doubt that it’s been a challenging year. The market has been in a great deal of flux, interest rates have risen significantly, and the first six months of the year saw the biggest impact on mortgage holders in 15 years.
However, at The Nottingham, we have remained dedicated to doing everything we can to support both brokers and borrowers throughout this extremely challenging year.
One of our key priorities at the beginning of 2023 was to really focus on ensuring we had an excellent team of knowledgeable, committed staff across our BDM, Mortgage Desk and Underwriting teams.
We’d started the year with a solid foundation to build on, but The Nottingham is on an exciting journey to evolve our mortgage proposition to ensure we’re meeting the ever-changing needs of our borrowers and brokers. And to do that we knew it was essential to grow the sales team and ensure we’re providing you with the best possible service.
100% of our new business continues to be through brokers so you really are at the heart of everything we do.
In February, we were delighted to appoint Matt Kingston as our new National Sales Manager, tasked with building an exceptional team. As well as recruiting three new field-based BDMs, we also amended our service model, hiring telephony sales managers to support and complement the field-based team, and grew our mortgage desk to provide a greater level of support to brokers.
Coupled with the fact that we provide direct access to our underwriters, this should mean that whether you have a general question about our criteria or a query about a specific case, you can get the answer you need in one quick phone call.
While maintaining and growing relationships with our valued broker network was a key priority, much of our work this year has been focused on transforming our mortgage proposition to better fit the changing needs of our customers.
That’s why we’ve recently made a series of changes to our criteria, including amendments to support self-employed borrowers and contractors. We’ve also put changes in place to help brokers, such as introducing product selection at DIP stage, which provides 24-hours’ notice to complete an application should a product be withdrawn.
As a mutual organisation, we want to do the best by our borrowers and that means helping them find a great new deal when their existing product ends.
In response to the ongoing cost of living crisis, we were also committed to doing everything we could to support our existing borrowers. This is why The Nottingham was one of the first organisations to sign up to the new ‘Mortgage Charter’ in June of this year. We want to ensure that our borrowers can discuss any concerns that they have regarding their mortgage repayments without worrying about how it will affect their credit file. Whatever their circumstances, we want to assist our borrowers in finding the best possible solutions, regardless of how challenging the current economic environment may be.
We also amended our criteria to accept the sale of mortgage property (SOMP) as a repayment vehicle for interest-only mortgages. We accept SOMP as the primary repayment method up to 60% LTV and have no minimum income requirement, provided the mortgage fits our generous and intelligent affordability calculator. This change has been extremely well received by brokers, particularly in London and the surrounding areas, thanks to the increased flexibility that it provides to borrowers.
Navigating the challenges of the last year has not been simple or easy for anyone within the industry, but at The Nottingham we’ve faced each challenge head on and remained focussed on the needs of our customers and brokers. We hold close to our historical roots as an organisation that is dedicated to making a positive impact on our community and to helping bring the reality of home ownership to as many people as possible.
It’s hard to say what the next financial year will bring, but the likelihood is that it will present just as many questions and concerns as this one. One thing that is certain, however, is that at The Nottingham, we remain dedicated to providing quality products and services to both brokers and borrowers, no matter what changes the future may hold.
Visit our website to find out more about all our recent changes.
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