UTB first arrived on the Mortgage scene in 2015 with the launch of its Second Charge loan offering. From the start, the Bank set out to provide a more personal service to customers and brokers with less dependency on credit scores for underwriting decisions and a commitment to continuously improve the mortgage application process for customers and brokers. UTB has since won 15 industry awards for its Second Charge offering and completed well in excess of 13,000 mortgage applications.
When Covid struck, United Trust Bank kept lending. When lockdown came, and despite not knowing what lay ahead or how long any disruption might last, we honoured our existing pipeline of cases and paid out the loans we had promised.
We swiftly implemented cloud solutions enabling staff to work effectively from home, keeping them safe and maintaining our high service levels. We began a program of regular and transparent communication to our broker base, and our Sales teams maintained contact with brokers through Zoom meetings at all hours to suit brokers’ new working patterns. 9pm video calls to catch up on cases and current events were not unusual. We knew how important it was to keep brokers up to date and well informed. As well as staying open for business, we wanted to make it easy for brokers to keep doing business. Brokers remarked that the transition to remote working was near seamless, such was the effort put into communication and service.
In July, when the country was just emerging from the first national lockdown and the mortgage market was struggling, UTB launched a programme of product, process and criteria enhancements we believed would help brokers to write more business. We recognised that many of our broker partners were struggling with a restricted choice of lenders for placing non-high street cases. This #BrokerSummerSupportPackage was greeted with enthusiasm by many of our broker and packager partners.
Throughout the summer we made several adjustments to our maximum LTV (employed & self-employed) and professional contractor borrowers, launched the UTB Secure Chat Hub to speed up and simplify UTB/broker/customer communications, revealed new criteria for customers with historic unsecured credit payment blips and culminated with the launch of UTB’s first ‘Interest Only’ mortgage range. Most recently we increased our maximum LTV to 80%. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive with brokers pleased to see us putting something extra on the table for them rather than, as was the case with many other lenders, pulling down the shutters further. It was an ambitious summer campaign, made even more challenging by the fact that the majority of the Bank’s staff were still routinely working from home. In the midst of Lockdown 2, most of us still are. Despite the difficulties presented by Covid-19 our enquiry levels have rocketed and applications have followed suit. The UTB Mortgage team have risen to the challenge and we have gained considerable market share in exceptionally testing circumstances.