Andy Pelley, director of The Loan Partnership, has witnessed both the highs and the lows of the second charge loan industry.
He was part of the team that successfully grew brokerage Loans.co.uk into one of the country’s leading finance brokerages, before its sale to MBNA in August 2005.
After this he left the industry to become a director at Wycombe Wanderers & London Wasps, before returning in 2013 to work at The Loan Partnership.
Loan Introducer speaks to Andy about how he feels the market has evolved over the last few years and its new secured loan operating system it has been working on with Shawbrook Bank.
Q: You have recently launched a new secured loan operating system with Shawbrook – what does the system do?
A: The system provides an ‘end to end’ process that takes an application through credit searching, underwriting, land registry, issuing documents and providing a comprehensive list of items need for the case to complete.
For example, we used to have to hand write a number of documents to give to a client, now the system identifies the forms you need and populates them for you.
Having a case on the system also makes many things quicker as you are able to print a full set of documents at the click of a mouse and refer a deal in seconds, rather than having to print off documents, scan them to the referral system, and spend time re-typing data into it.
The system is also directly linked to Equifax and Land Registry and takes the data from these sources and populates them into the system – it removes the chance of human error and makes it a lot easier and quicker to work the case.
Q: Do you think technology/online offerings will play an instrumental part in the future of the secured loan market?
A: Unquestionably yes. The market has seen a resurgence in recent months and it’s clear that during the tougher times of the last few years that understandably there hasn’t been a huge investment in technology. As new lenders come to market, they are bringing new platforms with them, and now some of the lenders who have been in the market consistently over the last few years are bringing out new systems. The benefits of improved technology are clear and the lenders are doing a lot to support their brokers.
Q: Up until 2008 you worked as director of Loans.co.uk which was sold to MBNA in 2005, how do you feel today’s secured loan sector differs from when you were at Loans.co.uk?
A: The industry today is very different to the one I left behind. Lending to 125% loan to value, self- certification of income, payment protection insurance being widely sold, regulation by the Office of Fair Trading.
What I feel we have today is much smaller industry with a much more sensible approach. The advent of FCA regulation means we can build customer focused compliant businesses within an industry that is likely to be here for many, many years to come. Products are very different. Equity used to be the main concern, now its income.
The changes over the last few years have been important, and necessary, and good news for brokers, lenders and consumers.
Q: After leaving the firm you then went on to become director or Wycombe Wanderers, what made you re-join the secured loan industry in May 2013?
A: I joined Wycombe Wanderers because it was being run by Steve Hayes, who had owned Loans.co.uk, and he asked me to go there and work with him. I thoroughly enjoyed my time there, but I only went there because he was there. He left in May 2012 and I agreed to stay on part time for one year to assist the new chairman, which I did. When my years was up, I left. I’ve only ever worked in secured loans and football. Both very different industries, but both about people and the level of enjoyment I had in both was directly related to the people I worked with.
John Webb, my business partner who built and sold Dial4aloan approached me about coming back to the secured loan industry. John is an excellent businessman, well respected and a good friend. When he suggested to me that we might work together, I had no hesitation.
Q: How do you feel the sector has adapted to Financial Conduct Authority regulation so far?
A: Overall I think the industry has adapted well. What I pick up is an overwhelming desire from everybody concerned to work compliantly and take FCA regulation extremely seriously. Certainly within our business we have made many changes to ensure we understand what is expected of us and do everything we can to make sure that the principals of the regulation are at the forefront of our minds on a daily basis, not just a rulebook we look at from time to time.
Q: What one item/thing could you not live without and why?
A: Unfortunately I think I am far too attached to my iphone.
Q: If you were to be stranded on a desert island with three people, who would they be and why?
A:Countdown presenter Rachel Riley – brains and beauty – the next Mrs. Pelley!
David Ginola – an absolute hero of mine for many years.
Tinie Tempah – for musical entertainment.