Buy-to-let

Maeve Ward quits Shawbrook as bank admits it has lost market confidence and says sorry to brokers and borrowers

Maeve Ward has quit Shawbrook “to pursue other career opportunities” and the bank has admitted it has lost confidence, got it wrong and has apologised to both brokers and borrowers.

Ward has worked for the group since 2009 and has played a key role in building Shawbrook’s second charge business. Her departure follows that of Stephen Johnson, managing director of commercial lending, to “take a career break”.

The residential property team is now led by managing director of the residential mortgages team Jeremy Law with Karen Bennett, sales and marketing director, leading the sales team.

Philip George remains with Shawbrook and is working with chief executive Steve Pateman to “ensure that the new leadership team is able to build on our heritage whilst planning for a future where we will need to balance regulation and judgement as well as adapt to technology led change”.

In a frank message to brokers in the complex and second charge market seen by Mortgage Introducer Pateman confessed: “Shawbrook was created to serve the needs of customers whose risk profile was adjacent to that of the mainstream banks and that remains at the heart of our business model and approach; this requires thoughtful underwriting, common sense, pragmatism and a balanced perspective whilst also ensuring that we, like others in the industry, meet the standards of underwriting that our regulators would expect to see so that we are able to give customers a product that is right for them and one that they can realistically afford not just today but when circumstances change be that interest rates or their own situation.

“Clearly it is possible to model some future changes that would affect affordability; on others it is right to make a judgment – something that I believe is as important in banking today as it has always been and something that I believe is at the heart of Shawbrook’s approach.

“In seeking to build a broader market proposition with a range of Pricing, Loan to Income and LTV options, I am conscious that we seem to have become more prescriptive in our approach and less willing to consider individual cases and this has led to some disappointing outcomes particularly for customers whose cases were in progress at the time of these changes.

“I am truly sorry that this happened and apologise for any inconvenience that has arisen.

“A specialist lender should have the capacity to make individual judgements when it is appropriate to do so; equally it should, like all banks, be able to determine its own risk appetite; however, it is important that our partners know what we will try and do and what we won’t be able to do and I believe that in recent weeks we have not been as good as I would have liked us to have been in providing that clarity and as a consequence you have lost confidence in us.”

It was also announced today that Phill Tyson has been appointed head of credit for residential lending and Claire Rankin, currently head of networks, residential mortgages, will become interim sales director.

Jeremy Law said: “Phill brings a great deal of knowledge and experience to our underwriting teams and I’m confident through his leadership Shawbrook will continue to be known for offering residential mortgage products that are built on common sense, consideration and thoughtful judgement.

“Maeve has been an integral part of Shawbrook for the last nine years during which time she was instrumental in the success of the residential offering, and a key personality within the business working with the Banks’ pool of broker partners.

“I would like to thank Maeve for the important contribution she has made and wish her well for the future.

“Claire has extensive experience and first-hand knowledge of the residential mortgage market and I’m confident that she will continue to help provide the right solutions via the broker channel, balancing its regulatory responsibilities with the need to provide practical and thoughtful solutions to UK borrowers.”

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