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In Reference Appointments & Updates

The advent of open banking and the continuing emergence of new challenger and mobile banks is not limited to traditional banking, according to Allen Jones, managing director of Copernicus. Asset finance is ripe for market disruption as specialist lenders move to target discreet market segments. The key to this changing landscape is the flexibility and availability of operating software. He said: “Specialist asset knowledge, combined with

financing expertise is at the heart of challenger asset finance providers we expect to emerge at an accelerating rate. The people behind these emerging businesses know their markets and can provide a superior, appropriate and insightful customer purchasing and financing journey.”

Allen Jones >>

the second month running, however ‘capital raising – debt consolidation’

appeared for the first time, perhaps indicating that some borrowers already know they were over-spending even ahead of Christmas happening and were already planning how they were going to pay for it. Making up the other places in the residential sector are the consistently searched ‘Maximum Loan to Age’ and ‘Self-employed borrowers with one years’ accounts’. Nicola Firth, CEO of Knowledge Bank,

said: “The year ended largely as it had started with a huge number of searches across the different product areas. During 2018 new lenders entered the market but it was product innovation that really was the stand out change. With interest rates remaining low, lenders continue to compete on criteria in addition to rate which makes it increasingly difficult for a broker to know who will or will not accept their client.”

AmTrust’s latest mortgage loan-to-value (LTV) Tracker has revealed that first-time buyers with a 25% deposit have access to over six times as many mortgage products as those who are only able to put a 5% deposit down. The quarterly tracker, which looks at the current real product availability for

first-timers as well as the average monthly mortgage payments they would pay on average loan levels for those with both a 5% and 25% deposit, shows that higher LTV borrowers are benefiting from an increase in product choice but that compared to their lower LTV counterparts are offered far fewer options. Patrick Bamford, business development

director at AmTrust Mortgage & Credit, said: “Clearly, over the last year we have seen a renewed interest in the high LTV first-time buyer mortgage market from a number of lenders, and this increased

competition has led to far greater product choice plus more competitive rates. “To see the average 95% LTV mortgage

rate not far away from 3% is pleasing, and the differential between higher and lower LTV products has narrowed significantly, especially in the second half of 2018.”

Shield Financial Compliance has launched its latest version. New features include AI for the reduction of false positives, and the proprietary technology of financial context recognition. Ofir Shabtai, co-founder and CTO,

said: “The new features address and resolve important issues facing modern financial firms. False positives have become a highly worrying statistic – one tier-one European bank we have spoken to even admitted it had reached an incredible 98% false positive rate on their day-to-day work. “Another major challenge is automatically

recognising the context of trade information from vast amounts of recorded eComms (such as e-mail, chat and voice), so it can be correlated to the relevant trade. Our new functionality is designed to address both these needs in an intelligent and highly useable way.”

StepChange Debt Charity has announce that John Griffith- Jones will chair the charity, following the resignation of Sir Hector Sants last October on his appointment as the chair of the new Single Financial Guidance Body. Chris Stern has been acting as interim chair for the past three months. Mr Griffith-Jones said: “Debt advice has matured into a

fully established sector within the wider financial landscape, with its own regulatory framework and its own challenges – notably the increasing demand for services. StepChange Debt Charity is well placed to bring both scale and innovation to deliver the high quality advice that is so desperately needed both now and in the future. I am greatly looking forward to helping shape and develop the charity’s vital role, and thank Sir Hector Sants and Chris Stern for their excellent work, on which I now hope to build with the support of a strong trustee and executive team.”

John Griffith-Jones

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