‘Speed and service are paramount, and we always aim to please’


Bradley Illman UTB 180424

In our latest five minute interview, Tony Sanchez speaks to Bradley Illman, Key Account Manager at United Trust Bank.

Bradley has always worked in finance, starting his career with Lambeth Building Society as a mortgage underwriter before moving to Barclays Bank.

After taking a two-year career break to travel the world he found a position at Morgan Stanley when he returned.

Then, 12 years ago, he joined UTB as an Underwriter in Bridging and later set up one of the first Internal Sales Teams in the Bridging market.

Bradley has very recently moved into a new role as Key Account Manager working with brokers across London.

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

The fast pace and the quirky deals. At UTB we have a dynamic workplace where every day is different, and service is key!

What keeps you focused?

The deal – every deal is different, and all come with various moving parts all of which have to be considered, queries dealt with, and any issues overcome.

For our brokers and customers, speed and service are paramount, and we always aim to please.

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

Honesty, a strong work ethic and happiness!

We spend a lot of time at work, so you have to enjoy it.

We have a great team at UTB, and I also get to work with some the best brokers in the business.

Are you an optimist or a pessimist?

An optimist, I have a positive can-do attitude, I believe perseverance will bring results and I try to laugh as much as I can and make others laugh too.

What did you want to be as a child?

Like many young boys – I wanted to be a professional footballer. However, I’d only play for QPR!

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

Before I start on the challenges, I think it is only right to mention the recent positives.

The UK housing market has seen lending rates and house prices stabilise, mortgage approvals have increased showing greater lender appetite and very importantly, there has been an increase in housing transactions year on year evidenced by recent Zoopla research.

All this shows consumer confidence is returning, and the more news like this we see, the better it is likely to get.

The challenges are those you tend to find at the start of any recovery.

The last 18 months have been a real shock to the system and if one of the improving factors takes an unexpected dive, stability could weaken, market sentiment may falter, and consumer confidence could suffer as a result.

Similar to the term mortgage market, defaults and late loan repayments have also ticked up slightly in the bridging sector.

However, the last few months have seen a strong return on repayments at UTB so I expect bridging will continue to recover.

Although the UK economy appears to be growing again, events around the world could cause instability to return.

Terrible conflicts in Ukraine and Middle East could escalate further which can have global implications.

Closer to home a general election may not be too far off, although generally the feeling amongst brokers is that the outcome is unlikely to have much of an impact, good or bad, on the property market.

Overall, I’m feeling positive about this year, notwithstanding global events which continue to cause concern and sadness for those innocent people caught up in them.

Who or what makes you laugh?

My kids… it sounds cheesy, but it’s true!

Do you dread Monday mornings?

Definitely not – a run or a sea swim in the early morning, followed by three strong coffees and I’m ready to go!

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

My inability to have a lie in. Up by 6.30am for the last 20 years.

With whom would you most like to have dinner?

Barack Obama and my late parents.