Still growing, still lending, still winning

Harley Kagan, Group Managing Director

UTB has continued to invest in people, technology and developing new products and the results speak for themselves


I put off writing my introduction to this edition of The Specialist as I was hoping I’d be able to include some good news from the Bridging & Commercial Awards which took place on the 6th of June.

UTB was shortlisted in seven categories including several across our Bridging and Development finance teams and the individual award for Underwriter of the Year for which I’m delighted to say our own Becky Kidby was a contender. Thinking about what we’d done and achieved over the last twelve months I cautiously felt our chances of coming away with some silverware were reasonably good.

Political and economic uncertainty has continued to challenge us both as businesspeople and as individuals. UTB is a through the cycle lender and our strategy has been to carry on doing what we do best. We sent out a strong message that we remain open for business and we continued to invest in people and in technology.

The new space we acquired on the 28th floor is now fully functioning as much needed meeting rooms enabling us to create more room for our growing team. We have created over 40 new roles at the Bank in the last year and expanded our sales and underwriting teams so that we can service more brokers than ever before. It’s no coincidence that our volumes in the first five months of this year are ahead of where we were at the same time in 2018 with particularly strong demand for funding from our asset finance and development finance customers.

Our commitment to continuously improving our product range and our customer journeys means we have several ambitious and exciting projects in development. We recently announced the introduction of dual legal representation for bridging loans, which is still a rarity in the bridging industry, and we are about to launch into the specialist re-mortgage market with a range of competitive products to complement our very successful second charge loan offering. They won’t be the only innovations from us this year.

News that competitors are struggling, or worse, is never welcome. It affects the lives of the people who work there, and it creates uncertainty in the reliability of financial institutions when what borrowers need now more than ever is confidence in them. You can be assured that at UTB we’ll do all we can to keep promoting and demonstrating the many positive qualities extolled by the very best lenders, such as integrity, stability and trust. So, was it worth putting this off until after the B&C Awards? Well I’m very pleased to say that UTB was named Specialist Bank of the Year for the second year running giving us a hat-trick in that category. We were also very pleased to have won the Editor’s Choice award and was Highly Commended in the two Development Lender of the Year categories.

These latest award wins will be added to our increasingly crowded trophy cabinet which so far this year has also had to make room for the Financial Reporter Best Second Charge Mortgage Lender award, The Mortgage Strategy Best Secured Loan Lender award and a Business Leader award in the Second Charge Loan category won by Buster Tolfree. That’s a great achievement and my congratulations go to everyone at UTB for this outstanding performance. Our success is due to the hard work shown by the entire team and those brokers and customers who support and encourage us. Thank you.