In the last year, Pepper Money has continued to go from strength to strength, growing our year-on-year lending, acquiring the UK’s largest second charge lender, and progressing our application for a banking licence.
During this time, we have also widened our distribution and delivered significant growth in our core areas of lending. This year we announced that, following the introduction of a number of criteria enhancements, there was an 87% uplift in self-employed completions and a 91% uplift in adverse credit completions.
At Pepper Money, we take an open and transparent approach to the way we work with brokers. We don’t use a credit score to make our lending decisions or cascade on price, so brokers know that what they see is what they get. We continue this approach with the structure of our sales team, which is one of the strongest in the industry and we make all of our underwriters available on the phone to discuss cases with brokers. Transparency runs through everything we do and we have also openly communicated the type of business we write, to help raise understanding amongst intermediaries.
As a leading specialist lender, we thrive on complexity and this year we announced that 30% of completions included at least two factors that could lead them to fail a standard credit score. The most common combination of interesting criteria was first-time buyers with adverse credit history and CCJs, which accounted for nearly one in five of all of Pepper Money’s completions. Self-employed borrowers with adverse credit history and CCJs accounted for one in 10 cases, and 1% of completions were self-employed first-time buyers with adverse credit history and CCJs.
In the last year, we have also launched a new website and enhanced our online portal for brokers.
But we know that to become the best, we need to do something different to our competitors, and one of the criticisms that has been levelled at the specialist market is that lenders can be vague in describing their target customers. It’s common for lenders to say, “We are the lender for customers who don’t fit the high street”, but it’s less common for lenders to offer real insights into who those customers are.
So, with this in mind, Pepper Money has worked with YouGov to conduct research amongst more than 4,000 UK adults to find out more about people who have experienced adverse credit in the last three years, to encourage greater understanding and more open discussion about customers with adverse credit.
We have supported this research with a PR and marketing campaign to encourage more people with adverse credit to seek advice about their finances and, when it comes to mortgages, we believe this could also present considerable opportunity for brokers. And we will continue to take a leadership position in this sector, helping to increase awareness, understanding and opportunity for brokers.