Financial Reporter spoke to Phil Quinn, head of intermediary sales at LiveMore, about the main challenges facing the later life lending market and the biggest opportunities for brokers over the next 12 months.
FR: What does LiveMore do and why is it different from other lenders?
LiveMore is the go-to mortgage lender for anyone aged 50-90+, in fact, we are the only lender to cater specifically for this age group. We are a young company, less than three years old but already punching above our weight.
We offer capital & repayment and interest-only mortgages and very soon we are launching equity release products. This means we will have the full package of borrowing options for the 50-90+ age group providing a choice of products to suit their individual circumstances.
FR: What is your role at LiveMore?
I joined LiveMore last August as head of intermediary sales and lead the BDM team across England, Wales and Scotland, helping to develop strategy and grow our lending.
What I love about my job is creating and managing relationships with our distribution partners, which includes networks, mortgage clubs and later life lending specialist advisers. It’s very important to me that we add value to brokers’ business by helping them to help their clients.
FR: What is your background?
I’ve spent 15 years in financial services in customer focused roles and started my career as a mortgage adviser at Halifax. I then moved into the world of specialist lending in sales and business development roles for a number of lenders.
I live in North London with my wife and two-year old daughter but I’m originally from Manchester, so of course I am an avid Man Utd fan. I don’t get to go to matches much these days but I don’t mind as I love spending time with my family and friends. When I’m not doing that you can find me on the squash court.
FR: What are the main challenges facing the later life lending market?
The big issue is that there is not enough awareness of later life lending and it is an underserved market. People are living longer so it’s also a growing market but the perception that anyone over 50 cannot get a mortgage is concerning.
We carried out research last year which found that 4% of 50-90-year olds are not aware they can obtain a mortgage and that goes down to 2% for people in their 80s. So we need to educate the general public as well as brokers as to the opportunities available.
FR: What are the biggest opportunities for brokers over the next 12 months?
There is a massive potential for brokers to tap into this market if they have not done so already. We can show intermediaries how to provide a solution for their clients by increasing product and criteria knowledge and broadening their skillset. Customer circumstances and market conditions change frequently so by making an annual care call brokers can keep up with their clients’ needs.
Just to illustrate the size of one element of the market, there are £200bn of interest-only maturities due in the next 10 years and many people will not have a repayment vehicle. A viable solution for this situation is to move onto a retirement interest-only product that is repaid only when the borrower passes away or moves into care. This means people can stay in their homes, they won’t have to downsize or face repossession.
FR: What has been your most rewarding moment?
Rewarding moments are when we receive positive feedback and there are some really heart-warming stories from people we’ve helped. But it’s the ones whose homes we have saved that often stand out for me.
A recent case was a 70-year old gentleman whose interest-only mortgage was due to mature but he did not have sufficient funds to repay, and his bank had no other solution for him. He came to us very distressed with just three months to go until potentially losing his home. He had pension income and could afford to repay a retirement interest-only mortgage so, of course, we could help him keep his home.
FR: What can we expect to see from LiveMore for the remainder of the year?
Our next product launch is equity release which is a big step for us and gives us a comprehensive product range.
We are also developing our technology which will make it even easier for intermediaries to work with us.
As a growing company, we are looking for a broader reach in the market and want to work with more distributors. Basically, any intermediary can place a case with LiveMore.