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Packagers set to prosper in 2007

The next 12 months will witness a record year for mortgage distributors and packagers, which look set to take the lion’s share of the pie.

Nigel Payne, managing director at HBOS subsidiary The Mortgage Business, says: “Brokers vote with their feet. They choose to deal with packagers because of one important thing – added value.”

Payne adds that the days of conducting business by habit are long gone, and that Financial Services Authority regulation has made time the market’s most valuable commodity.

He says: “Brokers are running around writing business, and at the same time addressing compliance and everyday business issues. Packagers offer choice and provide a personal touch and support when it is needed. This ensures that consumers receive efficient service.

“Technology has facilitated, not destroyed, many of their activities. And because the market is so diverse, mass-tailoring is in and the one-size-fits-all approach is out.”

Bill Safran, chief executive of Trigold, says that packagers have developed their role in the distribution chain and continue to add value.

He adds: “I think packagers will continue to prove the doubters wrong. The fact that lenders are building packager distribution so firmly into their plans for 2007 and beyond, shows that lenders see these as long-term relationships.”

Packagers themselves are also expanding their sector, says Safran, with the emergence of packaging groups such as PMPA and the development of shared lending propositions.

He adds: “This shows that this is a sector that is not resting on its laurels, but looking instead for expansion opportunities. There is a natural symmetry between packagers and technology, as both play a pivotal role in adding value to the sales process.”

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