Brokers secure second charge future

Growing numbers of brokers are offering secured loans advice and this trend is set to continue. They can win more commission and clients will benefit - what\'s not to like, asks Sally Laker

A recent survey by the Association of Finance Brokers found that about half the brokers it questioned now offer advice on secured loans. This is no surprise and I expect the number to increase significantly over the next year or so.

This is because brokers are in an ideal position to look at clients’ needs and circumstances and identify whether traditional mortgages or secured loans are right for them.

And although the second charge market is not fully regulated, brokers are. They will be consumers’ first port of call when it comes to secured loans because they will be treated fairly.

But when they enter the sector, brokers should only deal with reputable second charge firms to make sure their clients get decent products at rates that meet their needs.

The serious players in the secured loans market for the long haul will be the ones that set the standards. Less committed and poorly organised operations will fail. Central to a good proposition is offering a top quality lending panel from which the best products can be sourced.

There is no reason for brokers to shy away from secured loans, as they offer an additional income stream that fulfills the Treating Customers Fairly initiative’s obligations.

Brokers are finding it easier than ever to advise in the sector thanks to software designed with them in mind. And it’s no longer a case of them begrudgingly devolving customer relationship management to third parties.

The software now allows brokers to take control of the sales process to ensure they meet their clients’ needs. Undoubtedly, there are elements with-in the process that require specialist knowledge, but provided the relevant information is made available, selling secured loans is straightforward.

Sourcing and selling loans can be completed in a matter of minutes, en-abling brokers to close sales almost immediately and provide a level of service previously unseen in the sector.

Aggregators are discovering that by giving brokers more control of the sales process, internal costs can be slashed, allowing larger fees and commission to be paid to them. This is one reason why the sector is becoming more popular with the brok-ing community.

But it’s worth taking time out to become familiar with the range of products and support services on offer and how they work. This way, brokers can be confident they are giving cli-ents the best advice.