West One Loans announces ambitious expansion plans for the specialist residential and seconds markets

West One Loans is embarking on a major recruitment drive as part of ambitious plans to make significant market share gains in both the residential and second charge markets.

In a sign of the lender's intentions, West One has created two new senior positions under Marie Grundy, Managing Director of Residential Mortgages and Second Charges.  

Grundy remains responsible for driving the overall strategy for both residential and second charge lending but will be supported in the day-to-day running of both divisions by Pauline Rylands and Paul Huxter.

Rylands, previously National Sales Manager, has been appointed Head of Specialist Distribution and will provide dedicated resource and support to packaging partners across both residential mortgages and second charges. The lender is also in the process of recruiting several key account managers to help Rylands deepen its relationships with key packagers.

Broker Support Manager Lizzie Fonsecca and her team will continue to support Rylands and will gain additional resource as part of the lender's expansion plans.

Huxter, previously Head of Clubs & Networks, becomes Head of Intermediary Sales & Distribution and will oversee the newly created field sales team, which the lender is currently recruiting for. 

In his new role, Paul will continue to manage West One's club and network partnerships but will also now take responsibility for residential mortgage club and network broker firms. 

To support him, West One plans to recruit several new regional account managers as well as increasing the number of telephone business development managers to support the field-based team.

The first recruit, David Venn, previously National Account Manager at Tanem Bank, joined this week as Regional Account Manager for the South East. He will work alongside National Account Manager, Steve Mannakee.

Over the coming months, the lender will also announce wide-raging enhancements to its products, pricing and criteria in a bid to achieve its ambitious growth plans.

The first of those changes, announced today, sees West One overhaul its legal process.

Going forward, West One's fast track remortgage service is available:

  • For a low cost fixed fee of £99, positioned as an alternative to "free legal" products
  • On unencumbered properties for the first time
  • On remortgages up to £750,00 for borrowers in England, Wales and Scotland
  • For both like-for-like and capital raising remortgages up to 90% LTV, including debt consolidation 
  • At a lower cost for mortgages under £400,000 using the lender's dual representation legal service as well as borrowers using separate legal representation

As before, with the lender's fast-track remortgage service, the legal work starts on receipt of the application where typically legal is delayed until the offer is issued.

This service has enabled borrowers to complete as quickly as within four days of receipt of the application with average offer-to-completion times of 11 days from offer to completion during 2024. 

Marie Grundy, Managing Director of Residential Mortgages & Second Charges at West One Loans, says: "This is an exciting new chapter in our ambition to drive exceptional growth in both our residential mortgage and second charges business.

"The past 18 months have provided us with a fantastic opportunity to learn and test our residential mortgage proposition and now the time is right to put the pdal down.

"Over that time we have been working closely with our brokers to understand their priorities and their needs and now we feel we are in a position to ramp up our offering in this area. To do that, we need to grow, which is why we have embarked on such a major recruitment drive.

"As well as this commitment to growing our team over the coming weeks and months, we will also announce a number of major product and criteria changes that we believe will create the most competitive product proposition in the specialist residential and second charge markets. Watch this space."  

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