Alan Cleary – Group Managing Director OneSavings Bank and Precise Mortgages
Cast your mind back 10 years to the spring of 2010, which feels like a long time ago in the current environment. I reckon most of you will remember the slow economic recovery following the credit crunch of 2008. Some of you will recall thawing out after the coldest winter for 30 years. A few of you might even recollect flights being grounded across Europe following the eruption of a volcano in Iceland.
Also happening in the spring of 2010 was the founding of a new specialist lender which was quietly launched without much fanfare from a small office in Wolverhampton with just 27 people.
Precise Mortgages was born on 20th May 2010 after we recognised that there were lots of people who were struggling to secure a mortgage because high street lenders’ criteria was so strict.
As the first specialist lender to be regulated after the credit crunch, we knew it wouldn’t be an easy task to gain our permissions to lend. It was certainly a rollercoaster ride in those early days, but we passionately believed in what we were doing for the good of brokers, borrowers and the mortgage market.
From these humble beginnings offering only a handful of buy to let products, we soon found our feet and were able to extend our proposition to residential mortgages later the same year, following it up with bridging finance in 2011 and second charge loans in 2013.
The granting of a banking licence to our parent company at the time, Charter Court Financial Services (CCFS), in 2014 gave us a crucial edge over non-bank lenders by allowing us to access retail deposits, while CCFS’ listing on the FTSE 250 in March 2018 meant we were able to plan the next phase of our development.
This culminated in CCFS’ merger with OneSavings Bank last October, a move which has made the combined group bigger, better and stronger. The combination enables us to use our joint scale and resources to seek out new opportunities for brokers and borrowers, whilst our complementary products give us greater reach in the market.
Being honest, if you’d have told me 10 years ago that CCFS would be listed on the FTSE 250 and recently completed a merger with OneSavings Bank which now makes us one of the largest specialist lenders in the UK, I’d have thought it was quite a far-fetched story, despite our drive and commitment to the intermediary market.
So much has changed in the last decade, but one thing has stayed the same. We’ve never lost sight of why we started that journey all those years ago – to help you find products for customers who are underserved by high street lenders, all supported by a dedicated, knowledgeable team.
Despite the upheaval we’re all experiencing at the moment, let me reassure you that just as we were here for you yesterday, we’re here for you today and we’ll be here for you tomorrow. Intermediaries have always been at the very heart of our proposition, and we remain as dedicated to delivering outstanding products and service to you and your customers as we were when we started out.
Thank you for all of your support over the past decade; we couldn’t have done it without you. It’s been an incredible journey so far and the OneSavings Bank group and its brands, Precise Mortgages, Kent Reliance for Intermediaries and Interbay Commercial, are committed and looking forward to supporting you and your customers in the future.