We use cookies to give you the best possible experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you're happy to receive all the cookies on our website. However, you can change your cookie settings at any time.

Your Privacy

When you visit any website, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. This information might be about you, your preferences or your device and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to. The information does not usually directly identify you, but it can give you a more personalised web experience.

Because we respect your right to privacy, you can choose not to allow some types of cookies. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings. However, blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer.

Strictly Necessary Cookies


These cookies are strictly necessary for the Website to work properly and for us to keep it secure. They are needed to allow users to use the Website and its features, including to move between pages of the website.

These cookies are required

Performance and analytical cookies

These cookies allow us to collect certain information about how a user navigates the Website. These cookies collect information that is used either in aggregate form to help us understand how our site is being used or how effective are marketing campaigns are, or to help us personalise our site for you. We use Google analytics and Bing 1st party cookies, Google Marketing Platform cookies and Hotjar cookies for reporting purposes.

Cookie Name Purpose More information
Google Marketing Platform Cookies _ide, _nid, _sid, _dsid, _flc, _aid, _taid These are 3rd party cookies served by Google Marketing Platform. They serve adverts to visitors based on the websites they've been to previously. Click here for more information about Google Marketing Platform and how to disable this cookie.
Facebook   Personalise and provide products via Facebook marketing. Click here for more information about Facebook cookies.
Flash Taking   These are 3rd party cookies served by Flash Taking. They serve adverts to visitors based on the websites they've been to previously. Click here for more information about Flash Taking and how to disable this cookie.
Google Analytics _utm(x), _ga(x), _gid, amp_token These cookies are used to collect information about how visitors use our website. They keep track of when a visitor enters and leaves the website and any search engines and keywords that are used, including any personal and/or sensitive data. Click here for more information about Google Analytics cookies.
Bing mui(x), _uet(x) Remarketing script and conversion tracking Click here for more information about Bings Ads and how to disable this cookie.
Hotjar _hj(x) These cookies are used to record anonymous videos about how visitors use our website. They keep track of how visitors engage with pages on our website. Click here for more information about Hotjar and how to disable this cookie.
ResponseTap   These are 3rd party cookies served by ResponseTap. They serve incoming phone numbers to visitors to allow call volume tracking. Click here for more information about Response Tap cookies.
The Trade Desk   These are 3rd party cookies served by The trade desk. They serve adverts to visitors based on the websites they've been to previously. Click here for more information about trade desk and how to disable this cookie.

Marketing cookies

These cookies are used to make advertising messages more relevant to you. We may use this data to tailor the marketing and ads you see on our own and other websites and mobile apps, including social media.


Meet the Experts: Uday Bola, Products

In this first in a new series of posts, we're introducing some key members of the Together team to our partners in the mortgage industry. Over the coming months, we'll be speaking to people from IT, marketing, underwriting and other important functions of our business.

First up is Uday, from Products. We caught up with him over a brew.

Tell us about your role, and what it involves.

I'm the New Product Development Manager, working across both personal and commercial finance arms of Together.

It's my role to manage the delivery of entirely new products, whether we're looking at new risks, new channels, or new customer types. My team monitors changing market demands, speaking with a variety of stakeholders - everyone from brokers, to our underwriters and sales teams, looking at data like sourcing system and criteria searches, customer feedback and competitor initiatives – to gather feedback.

Based on what we learn from them, we decide whether there's a niche we could be serving but currently aren't. We then go away and develop a product that would serve that market, within our own acceptable risk framework.

Refurbishment bridging loans are a good example. We'd not offered these explicitly in in the past. Once developed, the team handed it over to the bridging loans product manager. They then manage the product and it ensure it stays relevant for customers.

Why is it important to develop new products constantly?

In the mortgage market, the customer and their needs are constantly changing. Sometimes that's driven by changes to legislation or regulation, and sometimes it's because of bigger, societal changes.

It's also a hugely competitive market, so it's vital to have a USP and to remain relevant to what mortgage professionals and their clients are demanding.

For instance, high street lenders have been offering borrowers rates of 1.5-2.5% on mortgages for years now, but both they and challenger lenders are moving closer to the specialist lending space and testing new products. This is great news for borrowers, if they qualify, and means we have to stay ahead of the game and constantly improve our offering.

Coupled with our underwriters' hands-on approach, it means we can support those applicants who don’t fit algorithms and need a human assessment of their circumstances.

What goes into developing a new product, and how long does it take?

How long is a piece of string?! Some products take relatively little time, and others are much more complicated. We have to consider the impact of the new product on IT systems, the source of the funds we're going to lend, how we're going to market the product – all of which can vary.

In terms of the process, it all starts with a conversation, typically between the product team and our broker partners. Broker feedback is so valuable to us, because they're the people who are hands-on with clients every day. So we're keen to hear about those cases you've not been able to place anywhere at all, and those ones you've had to take elsewhere because we couldn't help.

Brokers don't have to wait to be asked; any broker can pick up the phone and speak with us, even if they've placed no business with us before. We welcome feedback and market information as it’s what helps us stay ahead of the competition.

In your opinion, how does our approach to developing new products differ from other lenders?

I think compared to some of the really big lenders, we can be more agile. There are fewer layers of sign-off involved; if I need to speak to a key decision-maker, it's just a case of walking up to their desk and having a chat. That's not to suggest we don't have robust compliance structures in place – we certainly do – but the working relationships we have aren't stifled by being spread across multiple offices across the UK and we don’t have a hierarchical culture.

I think our people at Together itself set us apart. Our people know the specialist lending market inside out, and have decades of experience between them.

I think, also, that our relationships with brokers is different. It's completely two-way, and we frequently check in during the development of a product to make sure we're still delivering what the market is demanding. And we'll be frank where we need to be. If we can't deliver something, we'll say so – and why.

I think it's one of the reasons that brokers know and trust products we deliver will be genuinely useful.

What's driving change in the specialist lending marketplace right now?

There are two major drivers.

Firstly, society's definition of 'normal' isn't the same as it was, meaning our lifestyles don’t necessarily fit the way lenders traditionally evaluate customers. For example the world of work is evolving rapidly, and how people make their money is increasingly complex; it's now completely normal to have a second income, or to be self-employed in the gig economy, or to run your own business. This is where specialist lenders have an opportunity.

Secondly, the buy-to-let sector has become more specialist with the relatively newer categories of portfolio landlords and those who operate under a limited company structure. Then there's the changes to mortgage interest relief, which needs a more hands-on approach. Something Together can provide.

What happens after we launch new products?

We trial each new product or product change for three to six months with one of our trusted broker partners before rolling it out to the mainstream. It's crucial that we work any kinks out at this stage – so we use this time to test the market's appetite for the product, and things like system capability and the clarity of our messaging around it.

From day one, we monitor the performance of the product. Is it working for brokers, Together and most importantly for customers? Are we delivering the customer outcomes we want to?

Based on that, we can tweak the product to make sure it's absolutely perfect. But, naturally, we try to do that before anything goes out of the door in the first place.