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Comment: At last, recognition for brokers

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The fee retention debate has rumbled on and on, but another firm has made a positive move forward

Within this uncertain period, the delivery of positive news and ongoing recognition of the work advisers carry out is crucial. It was therefore particularly pleasing to see Kent Reliance has launched its retention scheme across all products, now paying a procuration fee to brokers who carry out a product transfer within its range.

While many lenders continue to either sit on the fence or simply ignore the question, it is heartening to see a growing number acknowledge that, just because a broker’s work did not result in a recommendation for their client to move lender, it does not mean the work has not been carried out and is not worthy of the same payment.

The retention fee debate seems to have been going on for most of my professional lifetime. However, slowly but surely, especially among those lenders led by their intermediary arms, a commitment is being shown to supporting the broker’s work in this area.

Not for nothing are we seeing the specialist/challenger brigade leading the charge here, and I suspect for this lending group such an approach will soon be the norm. If not, then it should be. The big question is: which mainstream operators (if any) will follow?

Recent events I have attended including these lenders’ participants suggest there is no great inclination to move down this route on their part. This is a real shame and, dare I say it, perhaps indicative of how some within those organisations truly view the intermediary market.

I hope to be proved wrong on this, but I will not hold my breath.

Rob Clifford is group commercial director at the SDL Group, and a shareholder at both Stonebridge Group and Moneyquest

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