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Letters: New outlet for brokers


Star letter: New outlet for brokers

Halifax’s announcement last month that it had reverted to paying a full procuration fee for all product transfers was welcome news. Any increase in fees paid to the intermediary market is a positive thing but its introduction at this time may also be viewed as a tactical manoeuvre to ensure Halifax keeps its place as the leading player in this sector.

At present, only Halifax, BM Solutions and Woolwich offer the full product transfer solution to the intermediary market, including payment of a fee. Santander says it hopes to offer a solution this year and it will be interesting to see its next step.

The bigger question is who will be next into this market and when. With the introduction of a fully advised sales process for all mortgage sales post-MMR, it was always envisaged that lenders would have to look at their advice models.

We have already seen changes to how lenders interact with the consumer via their branch networks, with some actually pulling away from offering a mortgage service. The same thought process and decision-making will have to be undertaken when a customer comes to the end of their existing product. Historically, this has been carried out via a non-advised model covered by a small number of staff. As this is no longer a viable option, lenders will have to decide whether to staff those departments to offer an advised model or outsource the process to the intermediary market.

The key aspect, apart from the cost, is that product maturities are not spread equally across the year; there are some very large peaks and troughs. These tranche vagaries are easily managed within the intermediary market but will offer more challenges for a lender internally.

The outcome, I believe, is that over the next 18 months more lenders will enter this space, IT permitting. This will create yet another new market for intermediaries to fully show the value they bring to the advice process.

Martin Reynolds, chief executive, SimplyBiz Mortgages


Automation means lack of accuracy

If more lenders start using automated valuations, as Mortgage Strategy reported last week, it will become a big priority for customers to get their own valuation or upgrade to a survey. It is amazing what some inexperienced buyers miss when they view a property.

I have to liken the lenders to the Wild West gunfighters of the past who also sacrificed accuracy for speed and paid a very heavy price.

John Lacy


Around the world at our expense

Words fail me after reading about how much the FCA directors are claiming in expenses. 

I could not help noticing the line: “This covered a two-night stay in New York, a one-night stay in Paris via the Eurostar and a round trip to Hong Kong and Sydney, staying two nights in Hong Kong and one night in Sydney.”

Private companies now tend to use conference calls/video conferencing to save on expensive travel costs (certainly the ones I have worked for in the past few years). However, these people do not need to worry about that as someone else is picking up the tab. So the thinking seems to be: “Let’s have a good old jolly on a round-the-world trip.”

Steve Barrett


FCA trips are jolly well unacceptable

Travel and accommodation are no doubt part of the job but one could ask the FCA directors: “Is your journey really necessary?” 

I can understand trips to Europe but what relevance do Hong Kong or Australia have to UK and EU regulation? If you want an indication of their processes, a teleconference or plain reading may suffice. This sort of travel looks suspiciously like a jolly to me.

Harry Katz


Key Group’s move opens more doors

I read in Mortgage Strategy that Key Group is to move into secured loans after acquiring packager V Loans. 

This is a very interesting move which rapidly broadens Key’s offering with an established and respected brand in the secured market. I wish co-founders of V Loans David Pinnington and Marie Grundy every success.

John Mawdsley



Caption Competition – 10 September 2014

Can you put the boot in to your nearest and dearest to win a delicious box of Hotel Chocolat milk chocolates? Submit a witty caption for the photo above and you will be automatically entered into our prize draw. Remember, the funnier it is, the more likely you are to win. What are you waiting […]


The Mortgage Mole: Racing Cert

Racing cert Mole is always one for a bit of variety and the cheeky glint that resides in his eye usually shines brightest when he gets to poke fun at the occasional mortgage mishap.  But with another week gone by, we have another week’s worth of charitable efforts from you do-gooders in the mortgage industry […]


Analysis: Private surveys will fill a need

Delays in lending approvals are unhealthy for the industry and we support initiatives to speed up the process. But it is important that customers understand the quality of the property they are buying. As Mortgage Strategy revealed last week, some lenders are returning to automated valuation reports in certain circumstances. This follows an announcement by […]

Europe: banking on a recovery

Neptune video: Europe — banking on a recovery

Arguing that the eurozone crisis is over, watch Rob Burnett, head of European equities at Neptune, discuss the sectors that he’s investing in to harness the recovery. 

In the video, Burnett addresses the following: 

• The primary drivers of the eurozone’s economic recovery
• The turnaround in individual countries’ current accounts
• Sectors best positioned to harness the recovery, without offering undue exposure to risk


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