World Cup fever

Grant Bather

June 24, 2006

England for the World Cup. What an opening statement from a proud Scotsman like myself.

By the time anyone gets round to reading this article, the greatest show on Earth should be well under way, and Messrs. Beckham, Lampard, Gerrard and maybe even Rooney himself will have taken care of Paraguay, Trinidad and Tobago, and Sweden. The long road to world football domination will be well underway and the whole country will be gripped in the fever that only a World Cup can spread.

What has this got to do with secured loans you may ask? And, even what would I know about World Cup fever being a Scotsman? Well, this is where my masterplan comes into operation and no one except the hard-working brokers who slog away day after day trying to earn a crust to pay the TV licence in order that the rest of their family can sit in relative comfort watching the World Cup action as it happens, will be working.

Let me explain. Access Broker Services has its head office in Glasgow, where 80 unfortunate souls will be working hard while all you proud English will be taking time off to watch the World Cup. Now I know that the current secured loan broker who you place business with tells you that the service they offer is second to none, and they staff their office 24 hours a day, seven days a week come hell or high water, and they have administration staff for every man, woman, and child in the UK, just to look after your deals.

During a World Cup, when your country is one of the favourites, this is just not true. It is one of your national sports so it is obvious, and also a known fact, that when the Le Mondial 2006 is on, absences, ‘hospital appointments’, ‘dental appointments’ and even ‘funerals’ will increase by unimaginable percentages.

So to my masterplan. Scotland as a footballing nation is a spent force. We made the conscientious decision a number of World Cups ago that we would not participate in any of the final stages. Sure we take part in the qualifying but this is only because it does not interfere with our day-to-day business as they are normally played midweek and in the evening. Perfect timing for a service industry like ours. The greatest show on Earth is not for us, as we are far too concerned about our businesses.

This is why, when you are looking to deal with a reputable broker/packager, you should get in touch with one based North of the Border, as we have nothing to distract us from providing you with the service every other broker/packager says they will offer.

A necessary tool

On a more serious note, as everyone knows, secured loan products have become a necessary tool for all mortgage brokers, and it is important that when they move into this market, they research it and make sure that they have the full range of loan plans to offer their clients.

We can honestly state that between the three main directors in the business, we have in excess of 70 years experience in the secured lending market. Our company was formed in the mid-1980’s as a secured loan broker and has acted as such since then.

We pride ourselves in the fact that we have witnessed all the changes in the market and have always been there for our introducers who place their business with us. We are committed to the introducer market and consider ourselves to be the most experienced in the industry. We are not ex-IFA’s or ex-mortgage brokers. We are secured loan brokers.

We have agencies with 13 major lenders, which encompass both prime and non-conforming. Due to the size of our company and the amount of business we place, we are able to offer exclusive products from certain lenders, which allows us to place more of your cases whatever the clients circumstances.

Although based in Scotland, 80 per cent of our business is generated by our introducers in England and Wales, making us a truly national company.

Our sales team of five corporate development managers (CDMs), headed by firector of corporate operations, Dave Armistead, covers the whole of the United Kingdom including Northern Ireland. They are assisted by our processing team of over 70 fully trained and experienced staff, who handle over 20,000 enquiries every month.

Building relationships

We also have a dedicated broker services department, where each CDM has their own dedicated members of staff who look after their own specific area. Over the years, we have found this to be the best way to build up relationships with our introducers as this enables our staff to understand the individual needs of each of their introducers.

Access, unlike other newly formed secured loan packagers are steeped in history and development of the secured lending market and as part of this, we have just started building our own bespoke headquarters at a projected cost of £3.5million, which should be fully operational by February 2007, to facilitate the current and future growth of our secured loans business.

Finally, I would really like to wish England all the best for the World Cup and maybe one day, while I am still in this business, an English broker will be writing this article saying that you should not be dealing with a Scottish broker as, when the World Cup comes around, their service levels fall apart because the whole of Scotland is on the road to world domination of football and are not interested in business while the World Cup is on.

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