Broker Support Profile: Simon Cradock, Corporate Relationship Manager

How long have you been a Corporate Relationship Manager (CRM) and what does the role involve at Nationwide and The Mortgage Works?

I’ve been a CRM for 2 and a half years having previously been a Business Development Manager for 12 years. A CRM is responsible for the relationship that Nationwide and The Mortgage Works has with Networks, Mortgage Clubs and other large corporate firms. We engage with various individuals to support them to increase business, help with business quality and agree marketing packages.

The Buy to Let market has become more complex over the last year or so with regulatory and tax changes, making a relatively straight forward transaction far more complicated for brokers. Over the past two years, I’ve attended hundreds of events hosted by networks, clubs and other bodies, educating brokers on the changes before and after they’ve taken effect, ensuring they have the tools and knowledge to advise their clients correctly.

Which mortgage clubs and networks do you support?

I look after Legal & General Mortgage Club, Mortgage Advice Bureau, Stonebridge, HL Partnership, In Partnership, St James’s Place, The Right Mortgage Network and London & Country. I also support a number of directly authorised firms that use the Legal & General Mortgage Club.

What attracted you to this role and what do you enjoy the most?

Having spent a number of years helping brokers as a BDM in the Sussex area, I was keen to take this to the next level. I love the diversity of the role; I could be presenting at an event in the Midlands one day, providing an overview of our proposition or an economic update, and in a review meeting with one of my accounts in London the day after, providing background on why recent changes have been implemented, discussing regulatory aspects of the market and taking feedback on how Nationwide & TMW could make further improvements

What are some of the big improvements The Mortgage Works has made recently?

Where do I start! I’ll restrict the list to the changes that have taken place since the start of 2018! The maximum LTV has been increased to 80% for standard Buy to Let cases and 75% for HMO’s, no maximum age for experienced landlords up to 65% LTV, and remortgage offers have been extended to six months which will help where funds are raised as a deposit for new purchases.

We’ve listened to broker feedback and have outlined a sensible approach to properties that have an EPC rating lower than ‘E’. We now allow more time to provide proofs by increasing the timescales before cancelling cases, and we’ve introduced an AVM process for TMW switcher valuation appeals.

Following the PRA changes relating to portfolio landlords, we’ve also seen the amount of work that a broker has to undertake increase, especially for those clients with larger portfolios. As a result, we’ve increased the procuration fee payable on these cases.

And I'm happy to say that we've just launched our dedicated Limited Company range that helps support landlords wanting to invest in Buy to Let within a Limited Company!

What changes can brokers expect to see from lenders regarding Open Banking?

The whole technology piece is very interesting, with all sorts of advancements being talked about. Open Banking is certainly going to be of benefit to the mortgage market as lenders will need fewer documents to be provided, as they’ll be able to have access to a customer’s financial information remotely.

However, we are some way off from this being a reality across the market as customers will need to be educated in the use of Open Banking, not to mention that lenders will need to update their systems and processes to facilitate it.

What else have Nationwide and The Mortgage works been up to lately?

Over the last couple of years, both brands have been working hard to ensure that the service propositions and regulatory requirements have been implemented. With that behind us, both brands have been able to look at the feedback we receive from our intermediaries. As you can see from above, there have been plenty of changes implemented this year and I am sure that there will be more positive news over the coming months.