Peter Price, Senior Underwriter in the Bank’s Asset Finance division, believes that the value they put on their relationships with introducers and the encouragement they give brokers to speak directly to their friendly and knowledgeable underwriters, are two key reasons why brokers who’ve dealt with UTB come back time and again.
As Peter explains: “At UTB, every proposal sent to us is looked at by an experienced underwriter. There are no tick boxes and no automated decisions. Our Credit Policy was changed last year, broadening our offering to a wider range of assets we can fund. Previously we listed the assets we would consider funding, now we list the ones we don’t. When we look at a proposal we look for reasons to do the deal rather than not to.”
Peter especially likes the “story book” deals, where the introducer knows that a deal may not appear to be strong on the surface, but needs to be looked at more deeply and with a commercial view. Working with Peter in the asset finance underwriting team are Lee Chandler, Charlotte Fenton and Hayley Macfarlane. Division head Martin Nixon also underwrites proposals dealing directly with brokers every day.
Peter has over 25 years’ experience in asset finance and spent seven years at ING and, prior to that, worked at Bank of Scotland dealing exclusively with the broker market. Peter believes there’s no substitute to being able to talk through a proposal directly with the broker.
One of the reasons he chose to move to UTB when ING closed its operation was the opportunity to maintain a closer contact with the many brokers he’d got to know during his career.
“There’s usually something you can pick up from a conversation which helps us to put together a better understanding of the proposed deal, and it saves a lot of time. That’s the way we do it at UTB and brokers really like that.”
Lee Chandler joined UTB in 2011, moving from IBJ Leasing where he’d previously worked with Martin Nixon. Lee joined the underwriting team in 2014 and since then has become a mandated underwriter dealing directly with brokers, considering proposals on a wide variety of assets. Charlotte Fenton joined UTB recently and has worked in Asset Finance for nearly 20 years.
Starting as an underwriter at Volkswagen Financial Services and more recently at Funding Circle and Macquarie Group, she has considerable experience in underwriting and credit analysis.
Hayley Macfarlane is an underwriting administrator, working closely with the underwriters to compile all relevant information required on each proposal to ensure they can be processed quickly and efficiently. A great relationship with brokers is a big advantage and she really enjoys the direct contact with introducers.
“Having been with UTB since the creation of the Asset Finance Division, it’s been great to see the business evolve, the team expand and the number of brokers we deal with growing all the time” says Lee. “The experience we now have within the team and the personal mandates entrusted to the underwriters means that, in a majority of cases, decisions are made on the desk very quickly. We know from brokers that it’s getting harder to find this kind of service from funders.”
“As an underwriting team our backgrounds and skills are quite diverse” says Charlotte.
“Between us we’ve experience of asset backed lending on a wide range of vehicles, plant and machinery and of softer, unsecured balance sheet lending. Together it means we can usually find solutions to marginal deals which will work for all parties. That and our close relationships with brokers and dedication to the broker channel makes us stand out from most of our competitors.”
Peter is keen to spread the word that brokers should call the team rather than make assumptions about the deals UTB are able to do. “For years UTB has been best known as a plant and commercial vehicles funder but today we fund and refinance much more than that. We have a bigger underwriting team with a diverse skill set, we have capital available and an appetite to lend it.
Whatever sort of transactions you think we will or won’t do, it’s always worth picking up the phone and giving us a call, especially on those story book deals.”