United Trust Bank (UTB) held its first ‘Exchange’ Broker Forum (Exchange) in July to discuss the future of broker portals and digital interactions with lenders.
Hosted by Nathan Mollett, Head of Asset Finance at UTB, and Astrid Michael, Asset Finance Head of Sales, the Exchange comprises representatives from around 15 UK firms of varying sizes from one man band operations to large franchise model brokerages. UTB looks to the Exchange to provide open and honest feedback and suggestions on all elements of the broker/funder relationship including product and proposition, credit appetite, pricing, and the implementation and impact of technology.
The group will meet quarterly to discuss different themes and issues important to the continued success and growth of the broker channel and in particular how UTB can assist.
Brokers attending the first Exchange meeting included Asset Finance Solutions (AFS), Victor Finance, Moorgate Finance, Approved Business Finance, PMD Business Finance, Anglo Scottish Asset Finance and DSG Finance Group. Other brokers will be invited to participate in future Exchange meetings as UTB intend participants to be a diverse and influential cross section of the UK’s commercial finance broking community.
The first Exchange meeting looked at broker portals and digital interactions with lenders, a subject at the top of UTB’s agenda as it recently announced a partnership with Alfa Systems and its intention to completely replatform its Asset Finance Business. UTB believe that by consulting with brokers very early in the development phase it will deliver a system which gives brokers the automation they need to improve speed and efficiency but without losing the vital personal connection between skilled underwriters and brokers.
Feedback on the session from those attending was very positive:
Gareth Williams of Victor Finance said: “It was a privilege to be invited and fascinating to hear what some of the larger brokers are already doing to integrate resource saving technology without giving up a personal service.”
Adam Drawwater of Moorgate Finance said: “The hospitality was much appreciated and it’s great to see UTB taking on end user opinions before they develop their portal rather than afterwards!”
Rory Dunn of Approved Business Finance said: “Thanks for the invitation. It’s a excellent idea to get broker input on these key decisions for UTB and we’re very happy to share our opinions.”
Nathan Mollett, Head of Asset Finance at United Trust Bank said: “UTB is a market leading ‘broker only’ asset finance funder so it makes perfect sense to gather some of the best brokers in the industry together and ask them what we can do to help all brokers write and complete more business, more quickly.
“Brokers know their businesses and their clients better than anyone, and by consulting with this group regularly we can ensure UTB’s strategy will deliver what brokers need rather than what we think they want. By listening to brokers’ honest feedback we can shape our proposition, build strong, enduring relationships and ensure our plans for new products, processes and technology are aligned to their own business objectives. This input is vital, especially now as we embark on a journey to create the most efficient, most user friendly and adaptable AF application process in the industry.
“I would like to thank all the brokers who attended our first Exchange meeting and coming along to what I believe will be many enjoyable and transformative discussions helping to shape the future of our industry and ensure the continued success of the broker channel.”