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The Interview


Being better


Halifax Intermediaries’ head of sales Ian Wilson likes to win and in 2012 he’s set his sights on being the best lender in the broker market. Sarah Davidson reports


Brokers have a soft spot for Halifax Intermediaries. The Lloyds Banking Group broker-only subsidiary has supported advisers despite its own problems post credit crunch and often has quirks in its underwriting that mean good deals get done rather than don’t. It’s acknowledged by most to be a staple for the so-called vanilla borrower. It also offers intermediaries a few quirks of their own that they relish. For example it is the only high street bank in the market to pay brokers proc fees when an existing borrower transfers product within the group. And it has spent the past year focused on getting more face time between its sales people and the intermediary market – something it claims just goes to show how committed the lender is to advisers.


Indeed the intermediary arm has expanded its phone team up to eight operatives and added a region by splitting London and the South East into two, upping the number of business development managers on its books from 34 to 51. They also run “Leading the way” workshops and broker forums across the UK to help train intermediaries to do more business and offer insight into their underwriting wants and needs. The man responsible for these moves


is Ian Wilson, head of sales at the lender and a lifelong employee at the bank serving 30 years. Wilson, 46, an Aberdonian and a keen golfer, tells me he’s in it to win it. “I think we’re one of the most supportive intermediary lenders,” claims Wilson. “We still do in the range of 60% of our business through brokers and we’re out there with a great suite of products to help people move house. “You could say we are the mainstream


“We have a team of experts in the new build and housing development market so I suspect we will play strongly there this year”


lender of the high street. That involves a commitment to several key markets. First-time buyers is one and we have a team of experts in the new build and housing development market so I suspect we will play strongly there this year. Homemovers as well – our priority is to support the market going forwards.” Wilson confirms the lender is hoping to keep its mortgage lending in 2012 on a par with 2011 when it did £28bn gross. If the market stays the same size this year as last that will give the group around 20% of the entire gross mortgage market – meaning one in every five borrowers is taking a Lloyds Banking Group loan. If Wilson is right, then this year will call a halt to the group’s seemingly diminishing appetite for new mortgage lending. Last year saw a 6.7% fall on 2010 when LBG recorded £30bn of new


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