Call to avoid distribution battle

Nationwide says intermediaries do not have to compete upfront with lenders going direct to consumers through high street branches.

At a debate in Jerez, Larry Banda, head of mortgages at Nationwide, told delegates nobody will benefit from a battle between the distribution channels.

Landa told delegates: “There is constant talk of there being a battle between intermediaries and the high street.

“What is more important is to establish strategic relationships between the two channels so this does not become a damaging struggle.

“At Nationwide, we appreciate the importance of the intermediary channel and are looking to conduct an increasing amount of our business electronically.”

The importance of customer retention was a hot topic during the debate and the importance of customer management programmes was stressed.

Kevin Duffy, managing director of Hamptons International Mortgages, told delegates it is important to rid the industry of the ‘rate tart’ tag for those who opt for two-year rates before changing to more competitive rates.

He says: “It does not make you a rate tart if you shop around seeking better deals. It is an ill-informed tag that has no place in the current market.”

Juan Rodriguez Inciarte, chief executive of Santander Consumer, stresses the importance of good customer service and also the enhancement in reputation that follows from intermediaries offering a range of products and services.

He says: “If clients buy more products from you, they come away with a positive image.

“It is more convenient for the customer as well as generating more income streams for the intermediary.”