Category: Latest Thinking

How Target is ‘Walking the walk’ when delivering on our Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) ambitions

John Barker, Targets new Chief Operating Officer shares our key Environmental, Social and Governance achievements to date. Outlines our future ambitions and explains what ESG means to him.

5 ways banks can get ready for digital currencies

Following the European Central Bank’s (ECB) decision to launch its own digital currency, Geraint Chamberlain, Product Director at Target Group, shares his top five tips on how banks can prepare for the rise of digital currencies.

Target’s Mortgage Hub shortlisted for the National Credit Awards 2021

Target's 'Mortgage Hub' has been shortlisted for the Innovation Award of the Year in the 2021 National Credit Awards.

The changing world of collections and recoveries

The Covid-19 pandemic has undoubtedly had a significant impact on customer arrears. We’re seeing many changes in the demographics of customers in arrears and the typical arrears lifecycle, including the increasing complexity, longer recovery periods and more vulnerability.

This is me… Jon Bartlett

Each month, one of our colleagues shares their story. This month, to celebrate Pride, Jon Bartlett tells his story.

Target Group headline sponsor for Building Societies Annual Conference

We’re pleased to be one of the headline sponsors for this year’s Building Societies Annual Conference.

A look back on a year of financial support measures

The pandemic has had a great impact on people’s finances. While some people could save money or reduce their debt, many individuals have faced a hit to their income due to the Covid-19 crisis. In this blog post, we highlight the key figures on the financial support given to customers across the country over the last 12 months.

To Digitise or To Digitalise?

Retail banking is in the throes of the most significant transformation since its creation in the 17th century. Technology is the main driving force behind the change, influencing consumer behaviours and expectations, as well as shaping a new regulatory agenda.

2019 Market Predictions

Trying to forecast what the market might look like is a difficult enough task at the best of times. But when faced with the backdrop of the current political and economic uncertainty, making predictions is increasingly difficult.

The best way to predict the future is to create it

Part of running any successful business is understanding how your market and your customers are changing and there is no doubt that in mortgages and lending expectations are rising.

Millennials, loans and the digital-first conundrum

In lenders' boardrooms up and down the country there is a dawning realisation that to stay relevant they will have to increasingly appeal to a younger, more digitally-savvy demographic.

June CEO Blog

Once again politics has taken centre stage after the snap election threw up some intriguing results. The political train even stopped by Target’s offices in Newport in May as we welcomed the Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.

What can the All Blacks teach us about regulation?

For the past decade, the All-blacks have undoubtedly been the dominant force in world rugby and arguably in world sport. Whilst watching them recently, I was struck by how they continually seem to a step or two ahead of the pack.

January CEO Blog

Following the announcement of our acquisition by Tech Mahindra, this year is already shaping up to be an exciting one for us as we look forward to the next stage in our growth.

CML monthly lending figures

All indications are that lending has bounced back this month after a dip in July and August. Fears that the market may be cooling over the longer term post the referendum seem unfounded as first time buyer activity in particular is increasing, which is encouraging.

What is the Future of Lending?

As Co-Group CEO at Target Group I’m often fortunate enough to have a front row seat to witness genuine innovation in financial services. Recently there have been some changes in the lending market in particular that seem to portent exciting times ahead.

Lending into Retirement

The confluence of an ageing UK population, house price inflation and new pension freedoms all point to the importance of finding solutions to the question of how our industry best lends into retirement.

Smarter, stronger, faster – how do lenders gain a competitive edge in a crowded market place?

The lending market looks to have entered another cycle over the past few years.

Brexit – the impact on UK Financial Services

Whatever the outcome of June’s EU referendum, the consequences for financial services will be hugely significant.

Ian and Bill’s monthly market review

It has been a busy month in the financial services sector as ‘Brexit’ fever grips not just the industry, but the entire country.

What’s stopping Insurance product innovation?

As Insurers continue to push their digital agendas and consumers demand more personalised engagement and compelling relevant products, two important questions come to mind

Disaggregation: the springboard for lending innovation

Immediately after the global financial crisis our industry experienced a period of existential threat. The good news is – we still exist!

Q&A with Richard Thompson, Partner Portfolio Advisory Group at PWC

We catch up with Richard Thompson, Partner Portfolio Advisory Group at PWC

Our take on the Q4 2015 Funding for Lending Scheme figures

There are many positives in the Bank of England 2015 Q4 usage and lending data. Growth in net lending to SME’s is the fundamental objective of the FLS Extension and the data indicates that the scheme is succeeding. We also see growth in the participation of non-traditional lenders as encouraging because more competition will benefit SME’s.

Keeping Insurance Brokers relevant in the digital age

It is fair to say that, as a breed, insurance intermediaries have long been the ‘Apple’ of the insurance market, offering innovative solutions, creative value added services and advice to their customers.

Interview with Mike Newman as Hartmoor launch their first products to market

We caught up with Mike Newman, Director of Structured Products at Target Group, to understand a little more about the launch and the opportunities he sees in the marketplace

Our Top Tips for Peer to Peer lenders when choosing a standby servicer

In a rapidly changing market giving your customers and shareholders peace of mind that you have a back up plan in place should the worst happen is essential.

An interview with Paul Smee, Director General, CML

Clearly there’s been a lot of change in this market, particularly in the tax treatment of Buy to Let landlords. The sector must be feeling a little groggy from the amount of change that it has had to plan for, particularly with amendments to the stamp duty and the landlords tax allowance

What is the affinity opportunity for intermediaries?

In our recent independent research, 56% of the market cited distribution as the greatest challenge and opportunity facing the insurance industry.

An Interview with our Co-Group CEOs Bill and Ian

We catch up with our Co-Group CEO's Bill and Ian

A challenging route to market for challenger banks

Since the financial crisis the banking industry has undergone a number of changes.

Interview with Tony Ward, CEO Clayton Euro Risk

We catch up with Tony Ward, CEO Clayton Euro Risk

Insurance disruption is inevitable – who will embrace the Uber’s in insurance?

Recent research undertaken by Target Group shows that consumers have not been well engaged by insurance companies to date; 85% of our respondents confirmed that they prefer to use the web when it comes to researching, buying or checking policies but that more than one in three find the experience “very confusing”.

Equity Release: current success and future challenges

The Equity Release industry has been one of the real success stories of the mortgage market over the past few years. We broke the billion barrier in 2013, set a new record of £1.4 billion in total lending last year and 2015 looks set to be yet another record-breaking 12 months.

Data Analytics – how to ensure a positive impact on your business

Large organisations will generally generate significant quantities of raw data and information on a daily basis – this data can be a real asset to the business and when utilised properly it will support more informed decisions throughout a business; optimising or creating processes/systems, methodologies and opportunities.

Interview with Bharat Sagar

We catch up with Bharat Sagar

Why is UK lending the place to be?

As talk in the media generally tends to focus on first-time buyers and London house prices, it’s easy to forget about the non-prime mortgage industry.

Question and Answer with Geraint Thomas, Partner, Eversheds

We catch up with Geraint Thomas, Partner at Eversheds.

Innovation in the non prime mortgage market

As talk in the media generally tends to focus on first-time buyers and London house prices, it’s easy to forget about the non-prime mortgage industry. It may appear to outsiders that the market has faded away, but non-standard customers are as important as ever – even if the market looks different from the past.

Building a Data Analytics capability

Developing a robust data analytics capability within a business, requires a number of important steps that need to be undertaken before embarking on any development programme. There are a couple of key points you must consider when starting this journey.

Hartmoor launch interview with Mike Newman and Ross Trotman

We catch up with Mike Newman and Ross Trotman from Hartmoor.

Paul Smee, Director General, Council of Mortgage Lenders Interview

We catch up with Paul Smee, Director General of Council of Mortgage Lenders

Are you prepared for the technology revolution?

With Halifax said to be trialling the use of heartbeat monitors to determine a customer’s identity, technology in the financial sector appears to be advancing more quickly than ever. The bank has revealed plans to use special wristbands to check the heartbeat of its customers – something which is completely unique to each individual - before allowing them to access their online banking facilities.

Question and Answer with Richard Thompson, Partner Portfolio Advisory Group at PwC

We catch up with Richard Thompson, Partner Portfolio Advisory Group at PwC.

Asset Rich or Cash Poor. Is Equity Release what you are looking for?

2014 was the best year ever recorded for Equity Release lending. £1.4bn was loaned into the market and the number of new customers also reached its highest level for 6 years.

The inexorable rise of the new lender and TPMA

So we have recovered. It seems that most commentators believe that the UK economy is back on a safer footing (despite some notable risks and potential headwinds) and as the wider economic environment continues to improve the UK mortgage market is, broadly speaking, on the up. 2014 saw regulatory issues dominate.

Ian Ferguson Q&A

We have a quick Q&A with Ian Ferguson

Data Analytics

Whether they realise it or not most large organisations are awash with valuable data. More often than not, there is a mountain of information tucked away in a number of departments, in varying states of accessibility, accuracy and formats.

The Regulatory Year Ahead

2014 was an eventful year for Financial Services! The introduction of the Mortgage Market Review (MMR), as well as the implementation of the Consumer Sourcebook kept everyone busy and 2015 looks like it will be more of the same.

What will the mortgage market look like in 2015?

We have seen some significant changes in the mortgage market over the last year, the most substantial being the implementation of the Mortgage Market Review (MMR) in April. Undoubtedly one of the most extensive pieces of legislation the sector has witnessed in the last decade.

Insightful research into borrowers spending habits

We recently partnered with YouGov to conduct a research survey of 2000 consumers looking into the borrowers spending habits in the wake of the Mortgage Market Review.

A change is gonna come…

Received wisdom within financial services is that consumers of financial products don’t like change. Inertia is often cited as a major issue across a diverse range of financial products. Whether it is bank accounts or remortgage rates, it does seem that people often need to be reminded or cajoled into securing a better deal for themselves and, even then, they can be reluctant to act. So why is that the case?

What does the future hold for new entrants to the UK mortgage market?

The UK economy is emerging from the financial instability that has characterised the past few years. The mortgage market is moving back to growth, with the Council of Mortgage Lenders predicting that volumes will rise further during 2014, potentially reaching £200billion.

The EU Mortgage Credit Directive: An uncertain future for Buy to Let?

The announcement last month of plans to regulate buy-to-let (BTL) lending as part of the EU Mortgage Credit Directive has left many in the mortgage world scratching their heads.

Scottish independence – can we cope with more change?

Whatever views one might have about political and economic ramifications, it is clear that most of the industry would not welcome the huge amount of work required to unpick a financial union that has been in place since 1707. In the mortgage market in particular concerns have been raised about how mortgages could be denominated and regulated were the union to be dissolved.

New beginnings and new entrants

As the UK economy emerges from the financial instability that has tainted the past few years, the mortgage market is showing strong recovery signs. The market is finally settling down after a few years of turbulence, consumer and lender confidence is returning with a flourish.

Outsourcing supports good lending

Over the past seven years, the financial services industry has experienced significant change and upheaval. Despite this, one constant has remained; the use of outsourcing. So with all the transformation and turmoil, why is it that lenders still favour outsourcing?

The importance of arrears strategy in the post MMR world

With the introduction of the Mortgage Market Review (MMR) last month, the main challenge for lenders has been how to comply with regulation effectively whilst still delivering excellent customer service and retaining their competitive advantage.

Standby Servicing shouldn’t be left out in the cold

Since the financial crisis, standby servicing has played an increasingly important role in reassuring investors. As a result, lenders who have not ring fenced their back office functions have felt the heat to have a robust standby servicing provision in place.