The Interview… Jonny Jones, CEO at Interbridge Mortgages

The Intermediary speaks with Jonny Jones of Interbridge Mortgages about the recent launch of the brand and how it hopes to impact the second charge market.

Can you introduce yourself, and the business?

I am proud to be the CEO of Interbridge Mortgages and have an extensive background in finance, working at board level in the second charge market for the last 19 years.

During that time, I have held various positions including chief commercial risk officer at Pepper Money UK, in addition to being finance and risk director at Optimum Credit.

Interbridge Mortgages may be a new second charge lender, but we have a wealth of experience and industry expertise at all levels in the business. The most successful businesses are expert-led, and we have built a team of experts.

Most of us have lived and breathed second charge for most of our careers, and it’s exciting to use all that experience to create a proposition which can genuinely put the customer at the heart of what we do.

We’re based in Cardiff but we have team members all over the country, so we can really maximise the amazing talent pool on offer throughout this sector.

Any new company launch is a complex undertaking, especially when gaining regulatory approval, what did you learn from this journey?

It’s not so much what I’ve learnt on this journey, it’s more about the messages which have been reinforced along the way.

The main ones are the importance of putting the customer at the heart of your thinking, surrounding yourself with the right people, having the same vision, and working together to create the right culture from the off.

Interbridge Mortgages has been a year in the making, and, from the first person to have joined to the last, everyone associated with this journey has shown complete faith in what we are doing and added their fair share of value along the way.

The regulator quite rightly expects very high standards from mortgage lenders, so it’s been a phenomenal effort to obtain all the relevant permissions from the FCA and be ready to lend.

This is all down to the hard work and attitude of everyone involved. This joined-up approach makes Interbridge Mortgages what it is.

How do you view the current state of the second charge lending marketplace and what impact do you hope to make?

I see this as being a really exciting time for the second charge market. The market is growing strongly in 2024, and it’s a great time for us to be launching.

We want to play a prominent role in creating high-quality growth, make a positive impact, and better service the ever-shifting needs of a growing number of people across the UK for whom a second charge option is the right financial solution.

There is a constant need to find innovative ways to simplify processes and make it easier for brokers to help their clients to access these product types.

Competition is healthy and can work in a positive way to help raise greater awareness around who typically benefits from a second charge mortgage and how we, as an industry, can really add value.

What can the intermediary market expect from your proposition?

Essentially, we’re here to offer products that meet customer demand and create better outcomes. We will offer greater certainty with less friction.

As a tech-led business, our broker partners can expect streamlined processes which will benefit them and their clients.

Despite this tech focus, it’s important to point out that we remain people-centric in our approach.

This stems from the people behind the tech through to a common-sense approach to lending and humans making those all-important underwriting decisions.

The depth of our sector knowledge, both out in the field and throughout our sales support and underwriting teams, will leave no doubt about the quality of our offering and the service we will provide.

You talk about the importance of putting the customer first and creating better customer outcomes, exactly how do you intend to achieve this?

We’re all consumers of finance in one way or another, so we know what works and what doesn’t.

We’ve developed our processes and technology with this firmly in mind by automating things when they can save time and effort, and keeping the human interactions in the process when and where they add value.

It can be all too easy to do things the way that they’ve always been done. However, starting from scratch with no legacy issues allows us to take all this accumulated experience and ensure that every single element of the proposition has been built with the end customer in mind, rather than just being an afterthought.

The goal is to deliver the best experience for customers who would benefit from a second charge loan.

Finally, what are your ambitions for Interbridge Mortgages in 2024 and beyond?

Our goals are simple. We’re here to add to the industry.

So 2024 and beyond will be all about us collaborating with our broker partners to ensure we deliver the best service and products we can for them and their customers.