The Five Minute Interview with Jim Moulton, Head of Broker Engagement, Shawbrook Bank

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Shawbrook is a specialist savings and lending bank that offers a straightforward, no-nonsense alternative to the high street.

 

We speak to Head of Broker Engagement, Commercial Mortgages, Jim Moulton:

 

What is the best thing about being in the bridging finance business?

We’ve worked hard to finesse our short term loan (STL) product range since its introduction in 2014, and one of the most satisfying aspects is the ability to deliver a compelling and constantly evolving service proposition within this highly competitive marketplace. A well-rounded product range that now includes Regulated Bridging Mortgage products has been met with strong feedback in the broker community, and the STL team should feel very proud of what they have achieved in this space.

What keeps you focused?

The regular product, process and system improvements that we undertake really keeps the team focused, not to mention flat out busy. This market is so fast-moving that it’s crucial to be able to react quickly across the proposition. This naturally means that the days fly past and there is always another challenge to work through and deliver to our brokers – it certainly keeps you on your toes.

What qualities do you look for in your employees or colleagues?

I think a professional relationship based on mutual respect and trust is vital within any organisation. We are extremely fortunate to have a huge depth of expertise across the business that is underpinned by an openness and desire to support one another. I really believe the Shawbrook culture is strongly represented to the market by our teams and that our biggest asset is the people that walk through the door every Monday morning.

Are you an optimist or a pessimist?

I’m a realist, so a little of both depending on the day of the week.

What did you want to be as a child?

Marine biologist, fighter pilot, fireman, Royal Marine – not necessarily in that order. (I think my career ambitions closely followed whichever film I happened to be watching at the time.)

What will be the greatest challenge facing the bridging finance industry in the coming months?

Clearly we will be watching closely to see how the changes in the tax regime impact the market in the coming months. We conducted the Shawbrook Client Barometer in January, which revealed the opinions of 174 of our brokers’ clients in relation to their property portfolios and expectations for the year ahead. Although there was some unease in regards to the tax changes, 56% of clients stated that they still intend to purchase another BTL property in 2016 which matches similarly positive broker sentiment from our 2015 Broker Barometer. As a specialist, Shawbrook is well-placed to adapt to change across our property lending function and we are expecting the market to remain buoyant.

Who or what makes you laugh?

As a new dad, the very distinctive noise signifying that my son has just filled his nappy still makes me chuckle like an eight year old. That should tell you a great deal about the level at which my sense of humour operates…

Do you dread Monday mornings?

Not at all. They can be a touch painful in the depths of winter but like anyone working in this industry, there is plenty going on during the day to turn Monday into Friday in the blink of an eye.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

At the top of what is a very long list would have to be the insomnia I’ve had since I was a youngster. (Must be the guilt…) Although I’m used to it, the ability to just fall asleep in a few minutes on a plane, on a bus, on the sofa etc. would be very useful.

With whom would you most like to have dinner?

At the moment I would really like to sit down and have a quick word with the United States to ask them if they are just having a laugh with this whole Donald Trump thing. I mean seriously…