Bro­ker Tony didn’t bank on re­ces­sion

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - ET Business - by JOHN KRALEVICH Busi­ness edi­tor

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.

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