Broker Tony didn’t bank on recession
MORTGAGE specialist Tony Esposito sees his business being busier than before in the coming six to 12 months. It’s as much a reflection of the changing times as it is of a slowly improving economy and property market.
He sees that people are shopping around more and using brokers including Tony’s business, Bespoke Mortgage and Finance Centre based in Yaxley.
“They want more for their money,” said Tony, whose business is an appointed representative of Sesame Ltd, which is the largest network for independent financial advisors in the UK.
“Affordability is the key and is dependent on having a strong credit rating. The better the loan-to-value (LTV), the better the rate.”
Like many firms, Tony faced a couple of challenging years in 2008 and 2009, searching how to grow his business. He was writing Buy to Let mortgages, remortgages, and gaining introductions to clients via referrals.
A shocking number of IFAs have dropped out of the financial planning industry, nearly 4,000 since the start of 2008. He trawled the FSA register looking for brokers who had stopped trading.
“A client bank in Ealing generated 500 clients, accountancy firms have introduced clients to me, and I have a Peterborough estate agent on my books,” said Tony.
The services Bespoke Mortgage and Finance Centre offers include Buy To Let mortgages, residential mortgages, commercial lending and general insurance. Tony is also an introducer for investments and pensions, and operates a link to TorFX for foreign transfers.
His business “guarantees a personal service to all our clients as we work on a one-to-one basis with you to deliver a truly first class service”.
“It’s a developing enterprise centred on providing a first class service to clients and introducers,” said Tony.
He left banking to set up on his own in November 2007. It was rosy for about six weeks until lenders started to “close shop due to the credit crunch”, the start of tough times ahead.
Tony had worked for Barclays for 20 years until the “shift from service to selling.” It was not for him, so he left and became a self-employed mortgage broker.
He started at ground level, in the machine room, at Barclays in London and worked his way up the ladder.
Promotion led to positions of cashier and foreign cashier, followed by his setting up an outbound call centre in Knightsbridge, London, which “worked well”.
He was also instrumental in setting up outbound centres in the Channel Islands.
Then came the opportunity to work in Premier Banking, as team leader in Peterborough at the Premier Centre.
Tony then progressed to relationship manager; looking after highearning customers (minimum salary £100,000), and he was in the top 10 per cent in the UK for Barclays.
He was a premier manager for four years when internal changes that were biased towards selling saw him disillusioned. It was time for him to leave the company and go it alone.
DEVELOPING ENTERPRISE: Tony Esposito of Bespoke Mortgage and Finance Centre.