In a series of Supporters in Focus pieces, we are thrilled to introduce our supporters of The British Wills and Probate Awards 2021
Alongside headline sponsor Executor Solutions we look forward to recognising achievement, highlighting progression and championing innovation.
Today we profile Best Use of Technology sponsors IHT Loan by Tower Street Finance.
We’re delighted to have Tower Street Finance on board with the fourth year of The British Wills & Probate Awards. First of all, tell us who you are and what you do
We specialise in helping our partners access inheritance sooner for their clients. We now have three products – Inheritance Advance, IHT Loan and Inheritance Dispute Funding. They are all unique in the market and offer benefits such as no credit checks, no monthly repayments, no personal liability and no risk.
We’re regulated by the FCA and since we launched in mid 2020 we’ve successfully partnered with more than 100 probate practitioners which has enabled them to offer an enhanced service to their clients when they need it the most.
One of the benefits of being a direct lender rather than a broker means we can be flexible with our offerings to suit the individual needs of our partners’ clients and solve real problems for them.
What have Tower Street Finance been doing over the past 9 months since The British Wills & Probate Awards 2020?
Well after being delighted to receive last year’s award for Innovation of the Year, our Inheritance Advance product has gone from strength to strength. And we’ve also been busy briging two more products to the market including our IHT Loan while bolstering our team to keep up with demand from partners and their clients.
Probably more satisfying than talking numbers is the customers we’ve been able to help with our product.
We recently helped two siblings whose mother had passed away. There was no will and a £250k IHT bill to pay. The main asset was a property worth £1.4m which one sibling wanted to sell. However the other was living in the property and was unwilling to move resulting in a messy case of them being in dispute and one facing eviction.
We enabled the son to pay the tax bill with an IHT Loan to prevent interest being added while the issue of the property sale could be resolved.
What do you think is the biggest challenge the sector has faced over the last 12 months?
I’d be surprised if anyone answered anything other than the pandemic.
As a relatively new and modern company we have a base in Harrogate, but were always geared up for our team to work remotely so it hasn’t affected us and our service to partners and customers in the slightest.
However we know that the probate process, which has also been through changes outside of Covid, has been delayed by a number of things, and has possibly not been helped by solicitors not being in the office, and financial services companies not responding to requests in a timely manner.
This has certainly been the challenge for many of our customers over the past year which is why they’ve sought our help.
And what innovations were you seeing in the market?
Advances in technology and digital engagement have certainly heped the sector overcome the problems it has faced. Practitioners now have more of an ability to search for the information they need in one place to help speed up the estate administration process. And there have been new services launched for customers to help them navigate the probate process when a loved one dies.
That’s why we specifically wanted to sponsor the best use of technology award.
What are your predictions for the sector in 2022 and beyond?
It’s got to be about recovery. We’ll see permanent changes to the market that are positives to come out of the crisis and will change ways of working going forward and we need to embrace these.
However, we’re now finding now that people are becoming comfortable meeting face to face again and we’re hoping that we’ll be able to get out and about as a team to see as many of you as possible in 2022.
Have you got any messages for the sector and our shortlisters?
A really simple message – we’d like to see the winners of the awards to be those who use their skills, technology and products to focus on the needs of the customer.
Thank you to Tower Street Finance for their support for The British Wills & Probate Awards 2020.
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