Specialist mortgage lender, Magellan Homeloans has almost trebled its underwriting team in the last few months and has opened a Birmingham office to accommodate the growth.
The newly enlarged team is now in place and is split over two sites – this Birmingham office and the Surrey headquarters.
Simon Read, managing director, said: “Finding the right calibre of underwriters is fundamental to our business and has not been easy.
“Because we provide a bespoke, manual underwriting service to our brokers, networks, packagers and their customers, we needed to find underwriters with the skills and experience not only to work through each case manually and come out with the right decision, but also possess the softer people skills to work closely with our intermediaries.
“We just couldn’t find the people we needed locally so quickly realised we needed to do something different to widen our search.
“Our research highlighted a rich vein of experience in the Midlands, so to ensure we got the people we wanted, we opened an office in Birmingham to accommodate them. It’s fair to say it’s been an absolute success.
“Despite the challenges of having a business across two sites, the teams are working together seamlessly.”
Read added: “True credit underwriting is becoming a lost art. We must have received over 200 applicants and interviewed around 50 but far too many only had experience of using credit scoring and automated processes.
“Many lacked the knowledge or skills to provide the service we want to deliver our intermediaries at Magellan.
“Our underwriters take ownership for their cases, discussing them directly with the intermediary, as well as assessing the credit risk – it’s all part of the personal service we want to provide.”
The network, Ingard, added that the recently expanded team is having an impact on service levels.
A spokesperson from Ingard said: “Just wanted to drop you a quick email and say how amazingly this file has been dealt with by your team.
“It’s been looked at quickly, seems to have flown straight through and I’ve had telephone updates all along the way.
“It’s just amazing! Valuation has been instructed and references sent for, all well within SLA’s. The new underwriters are clearly working and your service is now a major selling point.”
A spokesperson from TFC Homeloans, added: “The clients were in a difficult situation and under pressure from the estate agents who were working to tight deadlines.
“Thankfully Magellan managed to look at this case with empathy and worked it within a couple of hours. This fantastic service meant that we were able to go back to the broker with feedback so quickly it enabled the clients to buy that dream home – true customer focus.”