"Our competition is anyone that says no to a [mortgage] customer. We have launched a set of mortgage products but there is a lot more we can do."
That is the statement of intent Matt Andrews, mortgage managing director at Masthaven Bank, is making, 14 days into the company entering the residential market.
The company has not been shy about its plans to take on the big high street lenders, who include, HSBC, Lloyds and Santander. These plans now extend to the residential mortgage market.
As a challenger bank, Masthaven says it is a human digital bank determined to plug the gap left by the more traditional lenders who say no to the growing number of self-employed individuals applying for a mortgage.
Masthaven's mission is trying to address the problem of 60 per cent of UK adults and 50 per cent of UK homeowners who think it will be challenging for them to get a mortgage.
Mr Andrews explained: “We do not call ourselves a specialist lender. We genuinely believe with the state of self-employment and people who are challenged to get a mortgage this is just modern life banking. We believe in the efficiency technology can bring and that borrowers and intermediaries need a human touch.
“Traditional lenders are still cautious and their risk appetite is constrained. There are a tremendous amount of mortgage advisers struggling to place customers. We want to be a strong alternative for these customers.”
And 14 days into the launch of its new mortgage offering, Mr Andrews told Financial Adviser, that the product had received a very positive reception from advisers.
The average time period from the point of application to an offer being made has been below 10 days.
“The volume of applications has surpassed our expectations,” he added.
“The feedback is that the software and ability to interact is best in class.”
According to Mr Andrews, mortgage brokers are “crying out for simplicity” from mortgage products, particularly for those customers with a more complex situation.
These customers include those that have had a bump in their credit history, and are able to demonstrate a strong payment behaviour. However, they have been turned away by the more traditional lenders. Currently, self-employed individuals make up 35 per cent of Masthaven’s customers.
The bank has big growth ambitions, as Mr Andrews says there is a massive gap to be filled for those customers who are not being catered to.
The company, which is Based in central London, has been in the specialist lending game for 13 years providing secured and bridging loans. It launched as a retail bank in 2016 and subsequently started offering second charge mortgages.
Last month, the company entered into the residential mortgage market.
When deciding on mortgage applications, the company said it looks beyond the credit score commonly used by mainstream lenders to understand the story behind each customer’s unique situation.
Mr Andrews added: “In today’s modern world, people move home frequently, change jobs frequently, shift from employment to contracting to self-employment, yet all of these situations can deteriorate a borrower’s credit score.”