Mainstream lenders are still “scared shitless” by the sub-prime market.That was the striking message from Michael Bolton, managing director of HBOS Specialist Lending, at the Mortgage Summit. Bolton launched a stinging attack on the likes of Barclays and Bristol & West, criticising them for being no more than a fa栤e for other lenders. Bolton told delegates: “2004 saw big changes in the sub-prime market. It seemed each month another lender would join the ranks – with mainstream lenders still bottling it.” But, he says, boutique lenders such as Beacon Home Loans will thrive, helping to serve a market that now includes the nine million adults estimated to have been refused credit in the past year. Bolton went on to say remortgaging will continue to play a key part in the sub-prime market, with 29% of sub-prime applicants citing debt consolidation as the reason for their loan.