Is the robo-adviser redundant already?

Thursday, 28th June, 2018

At a time when there is continual debate around whether or not the human workforce will eventually be replaced by robots, I have to admit that I experienced a degree of pleasure this week upon reading an article that called into question the efficacy of robo-advisers.

The Financial Conduct Authority has issued a warning that robo-advisers could be misleading customers over fees and the nature of the advice offered – something that those applying for a mortgage should now be taking note of.

In a world where apps are standard fare, automation has become de rigueur and the perception that automation equates to better, this warning shot from the city’s watchdog pulls into focus the delicate – and often complex – nature of mortgage guidance.

It also raises the question of whether or not a service so nuanced and personal, such as that offered by experienced mortgage brokers, can simply be replaced by apps or web-based platforms.

As a Guildford mortgage broker we are all too aware that getting a mortgage is a big decision – and one that is underpinned by many variables, most of which cannot be expressed or picked up on through an automated process. A personal approach, such as that available via face-to-face meetings or even via a telephone call, enables the mortgage adviser to pick up on the small aspects that make up the bigger picture.

It also enables the adviser to ascertain the mortgage applicant’s own understanding of their obligations and commitments with respect to the nature and size of the mortgage they require. An automated platform is a standardised approach and one that doesn’t take into account swathes of people who, for example, may be more vulnerable when it comes to making big financial decisions and who, therefore, would benefit from a conversation with an expert.

I’m not anti-automation. In fact, I wholeheartedly believe that there are many services and aspects of modern life that have improved since becoming automated. However, in my opinion, mortgage advice and mortgage brokerage services do not – and should not – fall within this category.

If you want to speak with actual people when it comes to getting a mortgage in the UK, contact Complete Mortgages on 01483 238280 or email We specialise mortgages for the self-employed, mortgages for teachers, adverse credit mortgages, buy to let mortgages and limited company buy to let mortgages.

New Year, New Mortgage (but don’t leave it too late)

Monday, 29th January, 2018

Now that the New Year is fully underway, we’re urging our clients to start taking steps towards getting a new mortgage.

Whilst there are still a few lenders that are yet to increase their rates in line with the recent interest rate rise, the majority have already done so. Now, if you’re on a fixed rate mortgage then this won’t affect you.

However, if you’re currently on the standard variable rate (SVR) – or are about to enter the realms of the SVR – then this may be of interest.

1. Some lenders still haven’t raised their rates

For those who haven’t been thinking about their mortgage and what the interest rate rise means for them over the last few weeks, there’s still time to switch to a pre-interest rate rise mortgage deal – but you’d better be quick.

2. Beat the New Year rush

Whilst 2018 is in full swing, it can often take a few weeks before people start to really think about their next mortgage move. In fact, sometimes it’s February before the mortgage market really gets going. Put simply, if you act fast we can get you ‘mortgage-ready’ before everybody starts to want to do the same thing.

3. To rise or not to rise

There is already speculation that the next interest rate rise could come as early as May 2018, which means that if you haven’t already noticed the difference to your monthly mortgage repayments, then you may well do if the next interest rate rise comes as early as spring.

As a Guildford mortgage broker that has been in business since 2005, we’re still amazed to see the reaction on our clients’ faces when we explain how easy it is for them to remortgage. It’s even easier if you let a reputable mortgage adviser manage the process on your behalf.

So, if any of the three points raised here are relevant to you and you feel that you’re ready to remortgage – or at least you’re thinking about remortgaging in 2018 – then call us so that we can get your mortgage application underway.

Even if you aren’t looking to remortgage and simply need to arrange a mortgage, either for the first time or on a new property, then call us on 01483 238280 or email

Remember, we also specialise in buy to let mortgages, commercial mortgages, limited company buy to let mortgages, equity release mortgages and adverse credit mortgages.

By Mark Finnegan, Director at Complete Mortgages

Three reasons to use a buy to let mortgage broker

Monday, 6th November, 2017
buy-to-let mortgages

The buy-to-let mortgage market is booming – but not necessarily in the way you might think.

In fact, it’s taken quite a pounding over recent years. The first attack came when George Osborne, in his role as Chancellor, announced the phasing out of tax relief for landlords. The second, also a ‘blow’ by Osborne, came in the form of stamp duty surcharge on additional properties.

The result? The jury’s still out, however the repercussions seem to be a combination of landlords with high LTV mortgages releasing some of their properties back on to the market and existing landlords raising their rent.

Yet recently released figures suggest that buy to let mortgages are far from over.

According to Moneyfacts*, there has been a seven per cent rise in the number of buy to let mortgage products to enter the market, taking the total to 1,735 – the highest number of mortgages for landlords since the heady, pre-crash days of 2007.

It also makes choosing the right buy-to-let mortgage increasingly difficult.

So, as increasing taxes don’t seem to be putting off would-be landlords from entering the market – and following our recent ‘five reasons to use a mortgage broker’ article – we thought we’d outline three key reasons to consider using a buy to let mortgage broker.

1. Time is money

As a mortgage broker in Surrey, a county with a large share of buy to let landlords, we are in a continuous cycle of appraising new buy to let mortgage products in the context of our clients’ needs. Of course this is hugely time consuming – however it’s our job. You, on the other hand, may not have the time required to separate the wheat from the chaff and sift through this growing glut of deals.

By getting a buy to let mortgage broker to do the legwork and find a deal based on your personal requirements – all of which would have been established during an initial consultation – you are able to save yourself huge amounts of time by only having to deal with a shortlist containing the best-of-the-best deals.

2. Mortgage brokers are mortgage experts

If you’re looking to sell your property, you’ll no doubt commission an estate agent to sell it. If you have a problem with your roof you’ll consult a roof specialist. Similarly, if your car’s not working, you will probably visit a mechanic. We can’t all be experts in everything – there simply isn’t enough time. We don’t claim to be property experts, nor can any member of my team (myself included) fix a car, but we are experts in arranging a mortgage for our clients. If you want to save time and benefit from expert advice, then use a mortgage broker with a good reputation.

3. Not just any mortgage

Those of you that already have experience of getting a mortgage – either independently or though a mortgage adviser – will know that there is a lot of ‘crossing the Is and dotting the Ts’. With buy to let mortgages, there is even more.

Not only that, but a good mortgage broker can help advise you with regards to making sure the numbers stack up (i.e. the mortgage you secure works in tandem with the rent you plan to charge). The difference between 1% on your mortgage rate here, or a potential/hidden charge there, can make a serious impact on your profit. An experienced buy to let mortgage broker will be able to review this in relation to your own requirements very quickly and make sure that you get the right deal for your circumstances.

Cut through the buy-to-let mortgage ‘noise’ and contact Complete Mortgages on 01483 238280 or email Remember, we also offer specialist mortgages including commercial mortgages, self-employed mortgages and adverse credit mortgages.

By Mark Finnegan, Director at Complete Mortgages


The buy to let mortgage goalposts have moved… again

Thursday, 28th September, 2017

Staying on top of the buy-to-let mortgage market has become a job in its own right.

Some changes are small and relatively inconsequential – the inner workings, or behind the scenes details, if you will, that we tackle as part of the mortgage application process and that don’t need to burdened on our clients.

Others, such as the upcoming Prudential Regulation Authority changes, which will be applied by 30 September 2017, do need some light shed on them.

After all, current landlords and those in the process of applying for a buy to let mortgage are coming to us and asking ‘what does it mean for me?’.

In order to make the information accessible to everyone, we’ve prepared our Prudential Regulation Authority changes made simple.

This should clear a few things up, however if you still need clarification then please call a member of the Complete Mortgages team on 01483 238280, who will be more than happy to help.

So, if you’re a landlord and wondering ‘how will the new buy to let rules affect me?’, then read on.

1. Size matters

As part of what appears to be a crackdown on buy to let landlords who have ‘stockpiled’ mortgaged properties, the new rules really impact those who have four or more properties within their portfolio.

It’s also important to note here that the figure of four doesn’t relate to the number of mortgages you have – but the number of properties. If you own four properties under one mortgage then you will still be treated as a portfolio landlord. If you have two or three mortgaged buy to let properties, the new lending criteria will not affect you.

2. Down to the last detail

If you currently own three buy-to-lets and are looking to buy a fourth, or if you already own four and are looking to buy more, then you will be required to prove that your other properties – or at least your ability to cover the cost of the other properties – won’t be affected by taking on another.

To do this, lenders will:

a. Want to review income from other sources – including that derived from your existing portfolio – to ensure that can cover maintenance and void periods

b. Assess your experience as a landlord

c. Apply an Income Coverage Ratio, which is dependent on a number of factors including all your earned income. Note: this will vary from lender to lender

d. Require full details of the entire portfolio in order to assess the overall risk, potentially including assets/liabilities, cashflow and investment intentions.

Essentially, lenders will want to carry out stringent checks to make sure that taking on an additional property – or properties – will not be too much of a financial stretch.

3. Getting personal

Of course, as part of these checks, lenders will also want to know your personal liabilities and outgoings, too.

Expect the following areas to be explored as part of the review:

a. Credit cards and their balances

b. Vehicle financing agreements

c. Loans

d. General outgoings

The buy to let mortgage market is a constantly evolving sector. As a result, it’s important that you don’t get caught out.

As a Guildford mortgage broker our advice for buy-to-let landlords is to contact a mortgage adviser to find out how the new changes might affect you personally.

Likewise, we recommend that all new and aspiring landlords find a reputable mortgage broker to advise them on how to apply for a buy to let mortgage in the context of the impending new rules.

Contact Complete Mortgages on 01483 238280 or email Remember, we also offer specialist mortgages including limited company buy to let mortgages, equity release mortgages and adverse credit mortgages.

By Mark Finnegan, Director at Complete Mortgages

Complete Mortgages expands team with new mortgage adviser

Friday, 16th December, 2016
Mark Finnegan

Complete Mortgages will kick-start the New Year by welcoming a new mortgage adviser to the team in a move that signals how 2017 is expected to be a busy year for the property and mortgage markets.

Darren Wordsworth, a former HSBC employee who, in his five years with the bank, worked across multiple teams and experienced handling mortgage applications at every stage of the process, joins the Guildford mortgage broker after living in Barcelona for the last six years, during which time he owned a successful estate agency.

Prior to emigrating to Spain Darren carved a successful career as an independent mortgage broker in Scarborough following a period at Scarborough Building Society, where he was a full-time mortgage adviser.

On joining the Complete Mortgages team in the New Year Darren comments: “With a plethora of experience working at every stage of the mortgage application process, I plan to bring a 360-degree approach to Complete Mortgages whereby I can help expedite mortgage applications by having an end-to-end understanding of the framework. Having worked in property, both as an estate agent and a developer, I have first-hand personal experience of managing mortgage applications on both sides of the fence. I look forward to working with the team and contributing to the company’s plans for continued growth.”

Darren, who lives in Godalming, has two children and can be found coaching the under 7s Farncombe Youth FC at weekends. He can be contacted via or by calling 01483 238280 from January.

Mark Finnegan, Director at Complete Mortgages, adds: “We’re delighted to welcome Darren to Complete Mortgages and his knowledge, coupled with his experience of dealing with a wide variety of mortgages, make him a valuable addition to the team. It’s an exciting time for the mortgage market; competitive deals are in abundance and we anticipate 2017, the first quarter in particular, being exceptionally busy as people take advantage of the New Year mind-set and either look to move home or remortgage. We’re looking forward to the year ahead, proud to be continually growing as a business and pleased that Darren is now part of our team.”

For more information or to arrange a mortgage with Complete Mortgages contact 01483 238280 or email

Complete Mortgages celebrates its tenth birthday

Tuesday, 18th August, 2015
Complete Mortgages

Guildford-based mortgage and insurance brokerage, Complete Mortgages, is 10 years old this month having launched the award-winning business in 2005.

Since opening its doors Complete Mortgages has built a nationwide reputation and grown a client base comprising first time buyers, buy to let landlords, teachers and professional sportspeople.

Launched by former Halifax high flier Mark Finnegan, who in 2005 was the only employee, the company now boasts 10 employees, four national awards and access to the whole of the mortgage market.

On celebrating the company’s longevity Mark comments: “The tenth year is a huge milestone for any business and I’m immensely proud that Complete Mortgages has not only beaten a global recession but also become a go-to company when it comes to arranging a mortgage. We now look forward to building the team and taking the business to its next phase over the next ten years.”

As part of its 10th anniversary celebrations Complete Mortgages has launched a series of competitions including a quiz, a ‘referral tombola’ and a Facebook campaign.

For the Facebook campaign, Complete Mortgages has committed to giving away £250 to one lucky winner when it reaches 250 Likes on Facebook. Once reached, the winner will be drawn at random.  For the ‘referral tombola’ one person who refers a friend to  Complete Mortgages by 30th September will win £500, split between the referrer and the new client so that each person receives £250.*

Finally, to be in with a chance to win a bottle of Champagne, all entrants need to do is email the answer to the question below to

What was the Bank of England base rate on 16th August 2005?

a) 5.00%

b) 4.75%

c) 4.50%

The deadline for entries is 30th September 2015 and one winner will be randomly drawn from those who answer it correctly.

For more information on Complete Mortgages or to speak with a member of the Complete Mortgages team call 01483 238280.

*Terms and conditions apply. Click here for more information.

Fourth national award win for Guildford mortgage broker

Wednesday, 25th March, 2015

Mark Finnegan, Founding Director of Guildford mortgage broker and insurance brokerage, Complete Mortgages, has received the Top Mortgage Adviser of the Year Award at the ninth Mortgage Intelligence Annual Conference.

The event, which took place at the East Midlands Conference Centre in Nottingham, welcomed over 180 attendees from across the UK, all of which were vying for the national award.

Olympian and celebrated rower, Sir Steve Redgrave, presented Mark with the award alongside Sally Laker, Managing Director of Mortgage Intelligence Holdings Ltd.

The conference also welcomed support from some of the UK’s well-known banks, building societies and insurance providers and culminated in a keynote presentation by Countrywide Chief Executive, Alison Platt, and Mortgage Intelligence’s Sally Laker.

On receiving the coveted national award for the fourth time, Mark comments: “Winning the award once is an achievement, but to have received national recognition four times is something that myself and the team at Complete Mortgages are really proud of. The mortgage market is going from strength to strength, which has been expedited by the number of competitive deals that have recently been launched. In the wake of increased mortgage applications it’s vital that the standard of advice provided to those looking to secure a mortgage remains high and this national award illustrates that Complete Mortgages is very much committed to this.”

For more information on using a mortgage please speak with a member of the Complete Mortgages team on 01483 238280.

Complete Mortgages Secures Industry Award Hat-Trick

Tuesday, 29th October, 2013

Guildford mortgage and insurance brokerage, Complete Mortgages, has scooped the Top Mortgage Adviser of the Year award for the third year in a row – beating off competition from over 350 advisers and mortgage brokers nationwide.

The award celebrates the highest performing mortgage adviser in the UK and was presented to Complete Mortgages’ founder, Mark Finnegan, by former English rugby union player Austin Healey at the Sofitel London Heathrow.

The eighth Mortgage Intelligence / Mortgage Next Network annual conference welcomed 200 attendees from the Mortgage Intelligence and Mortgage Next networks including prominent banks, building societies and insurance providers.

On receiving the award for 2013 Mark comments: “The eighth Mortgage Intelligence / Mortgage Next Network annual conference demonstrates that despite being in a period of economic recovery, the UK financial services sector is still as strong as ever. This award recognises our commitment to our clients and is the result of the hard work that the Complete Mortgages team continues to put in to ensure that our clients are well equipped for their next step. We’re delighted to have received the award for a third year in a row and remain dedicated to delivering first-class customer service and raising the profile of the industry.”

Austin Healey ended the night as evening guest speaker before Sally Laker, Managing Director of Mortgage Intelligence Holdings, closed the ceremony.

For more information on using a mortgage broker click here. To speak with a member of the Complete Mortgages team call us on 01483 233014.

Mark Finnegan wins top mortgage adviser award for second year running

Tuesday, 2nd October, 2012

We are pleased to announce that Mark Finnegan of Complete Mortgages Ltd followed his success in 2011 by winning the top mortgage adviser of the year award again at last week’s prestigious Mortgage Intelligence / Mortgage Next Network annual conference.  The network has around 250 advisers in total.

Mark was also on the shortlist of 3 for the top overall adviser award (mortgage and insurance) and Complete Mortgages Ltd received recognition as one of the top 10 firms in the network.

Mark said “2012 has been a really big year for Compete Mortgages.  We have grown from 3 to 6 staff and the pressure was on me to win this award for a second year!  We have a fantastic team here, they have given me great support and hopefully we will be up for more awards in 2013”.

Here is a photgraph of Mark receiving his award from Sally Laker (MD of Mortgage Intelligence / Mortgage Next), Charles Haresnape (MD of Residential Mortgages, Aldermore Bank) and Hugh Dennis (actor / comedian).