Underwriting Lead

Location Durham
Contract Type Permanent
Hours Full time

We’re Atom bank.

We’re an app only bank, so we don’t have any branches on the high street. Traditional we are not.

  • Featured in London Stock Exchange’s 1,000 Companies to Inspire Britain 2019.
  • Ranked 12th in Business Cloud’s 100 FinTech disruptors list which looks at the UK’s most exciting financial technology companies.
  • Named in the Chronicle’s top 50 best places to work in the North East (listed in the top 20).
  • The UK’s most trusted bank on Trustpilot.

Want to join us?

As Underwriting Lead you will lead and develop a team of Underwriters to support the effective and efficient underwriting of commercial, residential, buy to let (BTL) and consumer buy to let (CBTL) lending applications.

You’ll be responsible for all aspects of your team’s performance within your sphere of influence (including lending quality, productivity and service level delivery) along with personal responsibility for reviewing and underwriting complex lending applications, in line with Atom lending policy criteria, procedures and controls.

You’ll coach and develop your own team, along with providing technical coaching support to our Lending Originations team, to make sure they have the tools and skills needed to translate lending applications to compliant and responsible loan offers as seamlessly and as quickly as possible. You’ll recognise diversity and know how to get the best out of every individual in your team, depending on their learning style and individual needs.

You’ll also help ensure that our relationships with key external partners (e.g. property valuers, legal conveyancers, lending intermediaries) are maximised.

At Atom, we’re here to change the future of banking for good so you will also be responsible for continually identifying ways we can maximise our customers’ experience, improve controls and increase output.

What will your ‘typical’ day look like? (but, no two days are the same at Atom):

Technical Accountabilities

  • Ensure all lending applications and loan modifications are effectively and timely processed in line with the applicable policy, procedures and service level expectations
  • Use your personal lending mandate to underwrite complex residential, commercial and buy to let (single and portfolio) mortgage applications, further advances and loan modifications in line with Atom’s lending policy. Ensuring the principles of conduct risk, TCF, responsible lending and all relevant regulatory principles (e.g. MCOB, EMCD, KYC, AML) are observed and detailed affordability assessments are complete
  • Package and refer cases outside of personal lending mandate to appropriate mandate holders or present to Credit Committee as required
  • Communicate, with customers, intermediaries and related 3rd parties to gather information to make appropriate decisions, explain rationale behind lending decisions and ensure that productive working relationships are maintained
  • Provide SME support across the business to the design, build, testing and maintenance of lending origination workflow, process and procedures
  • Maintain a thorough knowledge of all systems and procedures within the department to provide guidance and improve / update to ensure they are always fit for purpose
  • Represent the Underwriting Team at Credit Committee as required, offering residential mortgage and commercial lending-oriented expertise; preparing & presenting papers as required

People Leadership, Development & Quality Assurance

  • Lead, coach and develop the Lending team, (covering both junior and senior members and including sideways development, progression and succession planning), ensuring that all team members meet their full potential
  • Proactive management of performance, ensuring any and all individual or team issues are addressed quickly and effectively, ensuring all relevant HR policies are observed and adhered to
  • Manage workflows to optimise use of resource and proactively respond to changes in customer demand, ensuring all KPIs and SLA’s are achieved
  • Ensure that the team comply with internal controls and external regulations
  • Continual monitoring and review of team performance in line with quality assurance procedures to ensure that all regulatory, technical, service and customer outcomes are effectively measured and delivered
  • Ensure team members are fully engaged, and up to date with underwriting, lending and wider Atom issues through delivering team communications, holding regular team meetings and other activities
  • Manage results of quality control assessments, identifying training needs and/or recommend resultant mandate amendments (up or down) to Credit Risk
  • Maintain the team Risk & Control Self-Assessment (RCSA) to minimise operational risk
  • Embrace and champion the Bank’s culture and values, behaving fairly, with integrity and in line with TCF and responsible lending principles at all times

Relationship Management & Supplier Governance

  • Work effectively with colleagues from associated teams ensuring that the working relationships improve credit quality and keep decision appeals to a minimum
  • Support management of relationships with key property valuation and legal conveyancing suppliers in line with individual contracts
  • Support and/or conduct regular supplier performance reviews in line with the Atom’s supplier governance framework

Continuous Improvement

  • Identify improvements to underwriting systems, policies, processes and procedures; present proposals to relevant stakeholders/ committees and drive change forward
  • Contribute toward the design and implementation of future systems and products, including (for example) the business banking decision engine, portfolio BTL
  • Update job knowledge by reading professional publications, participating in professional organisations and maintaining personal networks
  • Undertake ad hoc work as directed by line manager from time to time

All roles within Atom must adhere to the Conduct Rules as set out by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

As part of our journey in building and running a bank we’ll encounter many risks along the way. In order to make sure the road doesn’t become too bumpy we expect everyone to make a conscious effort to proactively tackle and highlight any risks that we might face.

What do we need from you?

  • Substantial exposure to UK Corporate & Commercial banking sector in both customer facing and credit risk roles
  • Experience operating with a substantial lending mandate in a commercial lending underwriting environment, covering a variety of sectors and lending types
  • Substantial credit writing/assessment abilities covering customer, financial, serviceability & security assessments
  • Full understanding of commercial legal, valuation processes along with wider commercial risk issues
  • Proven ability to lead a team to success in a regulated, financial services environment
  • Proven monitoring, feedback and coaching skills with a track record of improving standards
  • Awareness of and experience in applying HR policies (e.g. grievance, sickness, consequence management)
  • Demonstrates a full understanding of Responsible Lending, TCF and FCA thematic reviews
  • Detailed knowledge of KYC, AML and Compliance related rules and regulations
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Detail oriented but able to make decisions in a time sensitive manner
  • Proactive, hardworking, flexible and able to work under own initiative. Team player with a strong service orientation
  • Flexible, adaptable, and able to respond to change
  • Confident, assertive and pragmatic approach with ability to exercise judgement and discretion where appropriate
  • Passionate about delivering service excellence

What would we ideally like from you?

  • Good working knowledge of the mortgage process
  • Experience of working in Retail Mortgage Lending Banking/Financial Services
  • Initiative, self-motivation and discipline
  • Resilience

What you’ll get from us:

  • Competitive Salary
  • Annual share option bonus – performance related, up to 10% of basic salary
  • Incredibly generous company pension scheme (13% Atom contribution)
  • 25 days holiday + 8 statutory days – rising by half a day with every year in the company
  • Private medical insurance for you and immediate family
  • ‘All About Me’ fund – £200 per year to spend on learning a new skill (but it can’t be anything to do with your job). Recently people have done upholstery courses, had driving lesssons and a rowing membership.
  • Health cash plan – expenses paid on optical/dental/other appointments/treatments
  • Life insurance – four times annual salary
  • Critical illness cover – 1 x lump sum annual salary
  • Cycle to Work Scheme
  • Continuous development – professional qualifications.

PLEASE NOTE: You must have the legal right to work in the UK to apply for this role. Atom bank are unable to support Visa Applications/sponsorship

Atom bank is an equal opportunities employer. We value you as an individual and therefore disregard race, religion/belief, gender, sexual orientation, maternity/pregnancy, age, gender reassignment, marriage/civil partnership and disability in any hiring decisions we make. Atom bank will always adhere to the Equality Act 2010.

How do I apply?

Email your application to

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