In a recent adviser interview, we chatted to our independent financial adviser (IFA), Rob Chapman, about his route into the world of financial services, his specialism in property lending and why keeping an eye on your mortgage deal is essential to save money long term.

How did you get into Financial Services?

“I started out at Co-op Insurance in 1990 as an agent for the Cooperative Insurance Society (CIS). It turned out I was quite good at it and was fairly quickly promoted to Branch Manager of the Coventry office. For several years our office won the Coop’s annual Merit Award for performance.

In 1998 I decided to become self-employed, as an adviser for Allied Dunbar. Back in the old days we did everything – investments, mortgage business, insurance, the whole lot. As time went on, I started to do a lot of mortgage business as that was the demand at the time and gradually became known more as a mortgage broker.

Over the years I’ve completed the official accreditations to become a fully qualified independent financial adviser, as well as a long term Member of The London Institute of Banking & Finance.

What is your area of expertise?

“I am very much a holistic independent adviser who can offer whole of market financial advice. I get involved in all elements of investment planning and wealth management and have a wide range of clients private and business clients with a varied level of assets.

My particular specialisms and expertise are in lending and mortgages. I sort of fell into it because that what the clients wanted and have developed a niche ever since.”

How have your clients’ financial requirements changed as a result of COVID?

“I haven’t really seen any changes in the way people want to manage their money. Maybe a little more interest in life assurance and income protection early on in the pandemic but the mortgage and remortgage market were still buoyant.

The main difficulty I encountered was the differing lending criteria amongst lenders, as the pandemic continued.”

For any clients considering financial advice, what would your advice be to them?

“If you want to plan for your financial future, speak to an independent financial adviser – the independent bit is key. Be honest. Tell them what you have got, haven’t got and what you want to achieve.

As independent financial advisers, it is our role to assess whether what a client is proposing is viable and work out a plan to get there. Some people want to borrow too much, some people are sitting on large value bricks and mortar with insufficient income to do the things that they would like to. Some clients just need a helping hand to arrange suitable investments to help achieve goals.

There is nearly always a solution available to achieve a clients needs. A good independent financial adviser can help a client do that”.

What is your most memorable case so far in your career, and why? 

“Having been in the business such a long time, there are too many to mention. However, the most recent client I worked on for MPA was one of the most rewarding for a while.

We had a very nervous client who wanted to help their daughter buy a property in London. The daughter had two young children, was recently separated from her husband and wanted to remain in the same or similar location, so that her children didn’t need to move schools.

To buy a house in the same street the clients daughter needed £280,000. Our clients had savings of circa £160,000 which they were prepared to handover to help secure the daughter’s property.

After some research and based on their income level and affordability, we were able to secure a retirement, interest-only mortgage for the full £280,000 with achievable monthly payments. They didn’t have to give up their savings and the daughter was able to live where she needed to, without uprooting the children from their schools and their friends.

That’s why we do what we do, to help people make the best of their financial situation for themselves and their families. Helping clients is the way forward. Over the years, we have saved people millions of pounds.”

Final words…

“One thing people could do to help themselves over the coming months and years is to check their mortgage interest rates. This is particularly important given current rising inflation rates and cost of living increases. Changing to a more favourable fixed rate when the renewal comes up can be much cheaper than going onto a standard variable rate.

If people are out of contract and on a variable mortgage rate, a phone call to an independent mortgage broker could help them find a much better deal. A one-off arrangement fee could save them thousands of pounds in the long run.”

For more information about MPA Mortgage services visit: