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Danny Lovey

Danny Lovey came to mortgage broking late in his career. The sole trader of The Mortgage Practitioner spent many successful years working in the City, first as a stockbroker and latterly as a investment bank trader before circumstance and a shift in lifestyle led him to the world of mortgages.

Lovey left school at the age of 16 and entered the City through the tried and tested route of the postroom before working his way up through the business.

“I worked my way through the way you traditionally worked through in stockbroking, from the post upwards, through the general office and eventually ended up where I wanted to be – at the front end dealing with clients.”

After 14 years working in the dealing room of stockbrokers in areas such as foreign exchange and arbitrage, he moved to Japanese investment bank Fuji and specialised in the Euro bond market.

During his time at the bank he set up a trading division for floating-rate notes (bonds with a variable interest rate) and by the time he left he was a senior manager.

“I actually got promoted at a Japanese bank, which was almost unheard of at the time,” he jokes.

He then spent several years at another investment bank, Commerzbank, where he had to resurrect its trading room and again turned the bank into a market-maker for the floating-rate note market.

Lovey says he thoroughly enjoyed his time in the City but events took him in a new direction. “My luck ran out. Too many changes in management. Basically, there were no jobs around. That was in the days of Mr Leeson and he just about destroyed every bit of confidence in the banks to throw their money around in the market.”

Lovey decided to train as an IFA. “I had to take my Stock Exchange exams again, even though I had been in the stockmarket for 30 years.”

But this change led to what Lovey describes as his”black period”. He says candidly that being forced out of the City and the death of both his parents in a short space of time left him battling depression for several years.

“The doctor said to me, The City was your life and that went. Your parents were your life and they went. Do you think you’re immune?”

After several years without a real focus, he decided to concentrate on the mortgage business. He joined a franchise business called The Mortgage Practice. This was shortlived, as the franchise soon went bust, leaving Lovey out of pocket, but it taught him a fair bit about running a business or as he puts it: “It taught me how not to do it.”.

After taking his Cemap bridging exam, he set up by himself as The Mortgage Practitioner in September 2007.

Thanks to his career in the City, Lovey says that he was able to bring a slightly different perspective to the business.

“I built up my business from nothing really, based on service. Obviously, I need to make some money but the whole objective for me was not really to make lots of money because I did not do too badly in the City. I wanted to enjoy the rest of my career. I want to use my experience to help other people, not that that makes me a philanthropist.

“My great satisfaction is helping people, particularly young people who have not been through the process before.”

Lovey says that he has tried to carry out his business according to the Stock Exchange maxim ‘my word is my bond’. He says this means the service he gives his clients is the best he can manage but he believes says the attitude from lenders is falling some way short of this standard. He accuses many lenders of duplicity towards brokers and points to dual-pricing as a prime example.

“There is a huge amount of duplicity coming out of the mouths of certain lenders. What they say and what they do are different things. They offer the ‘we want the intermediary market to succeed and they are so important to us’ and at the same time they are offering all the decent deals through their branches.”

At a time when brokers need all the help they can get, Lovey says the damage this is doing to relations between lenders and brokers is severe and will take year to recover. He says: “The broker community will not forgive and forget.”

Lovey says the current market slowdown is far worse than the published statistics show and he thinks that many brokers will either chose to leave or will be forced out of the mortgage market.

“It is worse than people think it is. Estate agents are saying to me, anyone who is saying they are only 40 per cent down is lying.”

The drop in transactions is starting to have a major impact on mortgage brokers and the pipeline of business is drying up.

“People are running out of the getting paid bit and they are looking at their pipeline and there is nothing in it or very little. There are a lot of people out there who are quietly leaving the market or are struggling to pay their overheads.”

This will be a poor outcome for the consumers as he says the role of the broker is invaluable as it keeps the lenders in check.

“Apart from being good for the consumer, in getting the service and the advice and everything else, it keeps the lenders honest. If we don’t exist, it makes life easier for them. Without us, consumers would get worse deals, there is no doubt about it.”

Born: 1945, Arbroath

Lives: Basildon, Essex

Education: Secondary education, academy of life thereafter

Career: 2002 – present: The Mortgage Practitioner; 2001-02: The Mortgage Practice, 1996-2001: IFA, 1986-96: Commerzbank, 1981-86: Fuji International Finance, 1965-81: R Raphael and Son, 1961-65: PN Kemp-Gee

Likes: Honest, straightforward people who do not take themselves too seriously

Dislikes: Dishonest, devious people who take themselves too seriously

Drives: Renault Scenic

Favourite book: Don’t have one. All my reading is about markets, current affairs or politics.

Favourite music: The Beatles

Career ambition: Just to enjoy what I do

Life ambition: To stay happy and healthy

If I wasn’t doing this I would be… Doing something proactive and useful.

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