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FINANCE The attraction of the mainstream


mortgage market to the banks had the knock-on effect of creating the opportunity for building societies to become more innovative in their new product development. Which, unlike traditional levels of service, was not something building societies had always focused on. We explored the corners of the


mortgage market that were underserved. Who needed a mortgage (which could be for a purchase or a remortgage) and what was it about their circumstances that the big banks blanched at? And we discovered that


demographic and societal changes are on our side. Longevity is up and life – working life, family life, financial life – is no longer as linear or uniform. The irregular is now increasingly normal. And the opportunities played to our strengths. The gig economy, delayed or


partial retirement, portfolio careers and self-employment are just some of the aspects of the new mosaic of working and earning. Family structures have multiplied too.


By understanding people’s


complex circumstances and allying that to a human-powered appraising of their mortgage aspirations, we have been able to develop the mortgage products and the decision making processes to serve niches without compromising risk. Into the building societies’


Colin Fyfe


Where we live, how long for, who with and with whose support is becoming manifold in its variety. The other point of difference


most building societies, including Hinckley & Rugby, has that makes us distinct from bigger lenders is our relatively small scale. We’re a more human-sized


organisation. We’re not dictated to by automated systems that make lending decisions. Our underwriting is manual. Our underwriters are a desk or two away from our frontline colleagues, not in a separate office, building, town or even country.


‘We are no longer surprised by the complexity of the lives of applicants whose cases go before the meetings of our Mortgage Referrals Committee’


product ranges have come innovative products for buyers ranging from first timers to those looking for lending in later life. There are Joint Borrower Sole Proprietor loans, to enable intergenerational support without incurring additional stamp duty (and it’s not always mum and dad helping the kids, we also get kids doing the helping). There are Retirement Interest


Only mortgages, that enable people to downsize and/or capital raise, or to supplement retirement income. We’ve removed any maximum age limit at the end of the term – indeed, they do not have a defined term. We’ll consider deposits that are


gifted and equity that is gifted. Other societies will provide a 100% loan to value ratio with parents’ savings or home as collateral. Some offer shared ownership; some take part in the Government’s Help to Buy scheme. We consider non-pension income such as rental and sustainable self-


employment, and we later life lend for buy-to-let. We’ll look at unusual repayment vehicles, business dividends, future career prospects of professionals, self-builders and people in receipt of personal independence payments. The niches are countless. We are


no longer surprised by the complexity of the lives of applicants whose cases go before the meetings of our Mortgage Referrals Committee of senior decision makers at 3pm each working day. It’s there that I, our Chief Finance


Officer, Chief Customer Officer, Head of Mortgages, Mortgage Services Manager and Underwriters turn raw potential into actual business. We can and do turn away some


cases. But mostly we say yes. The fact that thousands of applications have been considered by our committee since it was established less than two years ago is an illustration of how far Hinckley & Rugby has gone to adapt to the market’s evolution. Other building societies will have their own ways and means. It illustrates, I hope, that the


regional building society can and does compete alongside much bigger players thanks to harnessing an appetite for innovation to a deep-set sense of purpose in serving our members.


We give our clients the expertise you’d expect from a national practice with the hands­on partner level help you’d expect from a local firm.


All of our services are tailored to our clients individual circumstances. This begins with understanding each business so we can give them the high quality support and advice they need. Clients then receive bespoke tax advice and a service that benefits them.


Call us now to see how we can help you and your business’


t: 0115 960 9955 e: enquiries@newtax.co.uk w: newtax.co.uk 470 Hucknall Road • Nottingham • NG5 1FX


business network November 2019 79


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