Diary of an Adviser: Stuart Phillips

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Diary of an Adviser: Stuart Phillips

This week the adviser works on a video proposal, wonders whether World Cup fever is catching in the office and ponders some tricky BTL issues


It is fair to say I am not a morning person. After numerous macchiatos and a good half an hour of procrastination, I head out of the door to the office, which is about a 10-minute walk from my flat.

I begin the week by looking at what came in over the weekend. One email in particular catches my eye.

The client has converted some commercial units into residential flats, but kept them under one freehold. After wrangling for about six weeks on this case, the underwriters felt that there was a strong chance another takeaway might move in, and the case has been declined as a result. The client is not happy and neither am I.

My first order of business: secure a new lender ASAP.


Today, I turn my attention to some of the broader aspects of running a business. Having had a good response to consistent blogging and social media activity so far, I am now looking to produce informative videos surrounding the mortgage process.

I set out to develop a script that compliance can check through, before pulling in a combination of screen captures, stock video, animated infographics and slides, and commissioning a professional voiceover.

The objective is to present the questions I get asked on a daily basis, and to give an insight into how a lender works and how they assess risk, affordability and documentation.


Admin rules the agenda today. I work heavily in the buy-to-let market, and new regulation has piled up considerably over the past year.

The latest in regards to portfolio landlords, those with three or more other properties, is proving particularly troublesome.

Lenders have simply not trained staff quickly enough or in sufficient numbers to handle these cases. Some lenders take two weeks to look at submitted documentation, which is totally unacceptable, especially if there's a risk the case might be declined after months of waiting.

To make matters worse, lenders frequently spring to the top of the sourcing software with attractive new rates, and within days are swamped with applications they cannot handle.

The answer is to manage expectations at the front end; using business development managers to get a real insight into a lender appetite and packaging requirements; and to stay close, chasing regularly and actively pushing the case onwards.