Leek United is a mutual building society that is proud of the first class customer service that they consistently offer. With the right cultural values embedded throughout, all staff are committed to putting customers first and at the heart of all they do.
Their mortgages, savings and insurance products are all built on the mutual values which have been their bedrock since 1863.
We speak to business development manager, Deb Bree:
What is the best thing about being in the specialist finance business?
The best thing about my role is building long lasting broker relationships and assisting with a wide spectrum of different requirements for their customers. Because we consider cases such as non-homeowner buy to let, first time landlords and have no upper age limit for older customers, we get to look at a broad range of lending needs – so no day is the same, it’s so varied and interesting. As all of our cases are underwritten individually this gives us the opportunity to help even on those quirky cases which we come across from brokers.
What keeps you focused?
Job satisfaction and enjoying what I do! Of course achieving good results is also important and working with new and existing broker contacts keeps me on my toes as they have a lot of different customers and older borrowers that are looking for mortgage solutions.
What qualities do you look for in your employees or colleagues?
An upbeat and positive attitude and working towards the same goal. Also the desire to deliver a high level of service to our broker partners and supporting them in any way we can when they present a case.
Are you an optimist or a pessimist?
Optimist – my glass is always half full, never half empty!
What did you want to be as a child?
I wanted to be a vet because of my love of animals. However, at the age of 18 I started work at a building society as a Customer Services Advisor. Although I didn’t know what to expect when I joined, as I’d never worked in a business environment, I have never looked back.
What will be the greatest challenge facing the specialist finance industry in the coming months?
Lending to older borrowers continues to be a factor for the industry and the Leek have responded with criteria for those starting or completing their loan beyond retirement age.
Buy to let mortgages are still in demand and there are lot of different types of customers that need funding such as portfolio landlords, customers new to this sector and regulated cases.
For all of these, lenders need to be are flexible and constantly innovating their customer-focused mortgage offering to cater for an increasingly diverse profile of borrowers.
Who or what makes you laugh?
Gavin & Stacey is always worth a watch and I’m already looking forward to the Christmas Special! Also Dan Berrisford my work colleague, he is one of those people who you just look at and he makes you laugh - his stories and anecdotes are hilarious.
Do you dread Monday mornings?
Not at all, if I did I’d be in the wrong job.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I would like to be 20 years younger, but know what I know now!
With whom would you most like to have dinner?
Easy - Paul O’Grady. I love him. His love and passion towards unwanted animals is wonderful. He is naturally funny and doesn’t seem to care what people think. I would love to listen to his life stories he’s had a very varied life and it would be so interesting.