Warners Financial Services was first formed in 1987. We are a specialist team of eight mortgage and protection advisors, with well over 200 years of combined experience in the financial services industry.
We also have a sister organisation, Warners Estate Planning, founded by equity release and later life planning specialist, Jill Pullin.
Although we pride ourselves on our local profile we are part of the Primis Network of mortgage and protection advisors, so we and our clients benefit from their huge buying power and support.
Where are you based and where do you operate geographically?
We are based in Wymondham, Norfolk, a small market town around 10 miles south-west of Norwich. Some of our advisers are located in our offices at Wymondham, with the remainder based in and around Norwich. We serve clients not only in East Anglia but also across the UK.
What are the main issues impacting your local market?
Demand for property in Norfolk and East Anglia continues to be very strong, with the average house price in the region now over £339,000 after rises of 20% in 2021 alone in some parts of the region.
This has been partly driven by buyers being able to live further away from London because of increased remote working, and improvements to the transport infrastucture, for example, the upgrading of the A11.
This increase in property prices inevitably causes challenges, especially for those entering the property market for the first time. As with most of the UK, the new build sector has been booming in East Anglia.
What challenges are you facing as a broker?
Over the last three months the main challenge has been the consistent movement upwards in mortgage rates, often at very short notice, combined with revised affordability criteria resulting from lenders’ concerns over the impact of inflation on mortgage affordability.
We are also mindful of the risk of clients seeking to manage rising cost of living concerns by cancelling protection policies, which are arguably more important than ever to have in place.
What are the main opportunities for brokers in your area and nationally?
With the rapidly evolving UK situation, especially with mortgage interest rates and significant inflationary pressures, we believe it is more important than ever for clients to seek professional independent mortgage advice to help them achieve the best mortgage deal for their immediate needs and longer-term plans.
We believe that the forthcoming changes to EPC requirements give us an ideal opportunity to talk to our existing buy-to-let clients.
What could lenders do to help further your business?
We enjoy an excellent relationship with the mortgage lenders’ business development managers, not only from the viewpoint of our keeping up to date with the latest mortgage products and criteria, but also support post-application and we aim to maintain and build further on these important links.
Although most lenders have the online capability for us to track mortgage applications, it is still often necessary to speak to the lenders directly, and we have noticed increasing call waiting times on such calls.
Service for some lenders really is an issue. We struggle to understand wait times of up to an hour, four or five days to look at documents and yet those same lenders topping the charts in terms of interest rates?
What sets you apart from the competition?
We take a pride in providing a professional, friendly approach, with flexible appointment times to suit our clients and this is reflected in every Google review we have received to date from clients being rated 5 stars.
Many of our clients have been with us for decades, with much of our business being based on repeat custom and recommendations from this loyal client base.
We not only offer our clients a comprehensive mortgage and protection service, but we also have the capability to advise on later life lending, including equity release and wills through our estate planning arm.