Promise and Norton back Shawbrook after troubled week

Ryan Bembridge

February 2, 2018

Second charge brokers Promise Solutions and Norton Finance will keep Shawbrook on their lender panels despite the bank’s admittance that brokers have lost confidence in its service.

It’s been a week of change at the bank, with the departure of Maeve Ward, who played a key role in building Shawbrook’s second charge business, and the announcement that managing director of commercial lending Stephen Johnson is taking a career break.

The residential property team is now led by managing director of the residential mortgages team Jeremy Law. Phill Tyson has been hired as head of credit for residential lending and Claire Rankin as interim sales director.

Steve Walker, managing director of Promise, said: “Brokers may be upset by the recent events at Shawbrook but speaking for Promise, if Paula Purdy [head of sales, residential mortgages] came back with some good products in a month or so and promised us good service levels and consistent decision-making we would support Shawbrook where appropriate because of the past relationship and trust in the individual.

“Shawbrook is still on panel and where criteria allows will still get business.

“It has been a fabulous lender in the second charge sector and deserves support when it’s ready again to push ahead. Good luck to the whole team.”

Paul Stringer, managing director of Norton Group, also confirmed that Shawbrook will remain on its panel.

He said: “Whilst it’s a shame to see some of the old management team leave Shawbrook it is a good opportunity for the lender to re-establish its position in the second charge market and look to again provide products and service levels that Shawbrook are so well known for.”

Shawbrook agreed a private equity takeover worth £850m last summer.

And Walker added: “We shouldn’t be surprised to see senior people like Maeve leave Shawbrook. Nor should we expect every member of the entrepreneurial team who built the business to see eye to eye with a more corporate incoming management team.

“This happens following acquisitions all the time and people move on.”

He said: “Brokers shouldn’t be down-hearted. There are some very good staff still at Shawbrook in sales and underwriting who brokers like and trust.

“If Shawbrook changes its risk appetite it can still add value to brokers but it needs to promote some competitive products and not allow the strong relationships Maeve Ward, Paula Purdy and the team have built to diminish.

“People buy from people, especially in the specialist sector, so retaining and equipping people like Paula with a decent proposition is vital.”

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