IMLA’s Williams hails broker/lender ‘sense of positivity’

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As the market becomes more complex, it is good to see the pervading sense of positivity between lenders and brokers

Earlier this year, we launched a discussion document – Insights Into the Changing Shape of the Lender-Broker Relationship – which explored the dynamic between providers and intermediaries in the UK and how it might develop.

Leading representatives from both parties fed into the white paper, with topics discussed including the issues facing their relationship and the steps that can be taken to improve it.

There was broad agreement on the fact that the needs of the customer are paramount when it comes to arranging a mortgage. Lenders were also quick to acknowledge the critical role brokers have to play in the post-MMR marketplace, especially when it comes to the growing number of non-standard borrowers.

As the market has become more complex, figures from the FCA reveal the intermediary channel’s share of lending has grown from 50 per cent to almost 70 per cent. This is a trend unlikely to be reversed any time soon.

Lenders and brokers were also positive about ongoing initiatives to roll out best practice across the industry. Both parties thought the IMLA/AMI Lenders and Intermediaries Governance Framework’s initiative has improved the clarity around the process of removing brokers from lender panels, which many previously felt was opaque.

There was also broad support for the Senior Managers Regime, which will come into practice in the sector in 2018/2019 and give responsibility for broker behaviour to senior managers.

While there were some differences of opinion about who owns the customer relationship and procuration fees for product renewals or transfers, it was hard to ignore the pervading sense of positivity between both groups.

With the size of the intermediary market continuing to grow, it is important that lenders, brokers and their trade bodies build on this shared momentum and work hard to maintain this dialogue and co-operation.

Peter Williams is executive director of Imla