HBOS’s head of mortgage strategy Joel Ripley says the group is considering a retention policy that will reward brokers for reintroducing business.Speaking at Mortgage Strategy’s Mortgage Summit in Jerez, Ripley’s news will be welcome news to brokers across the UK . For example, it would mean that should an introduced client be coming to the end of their two-year fixed rate with Halifax, rather than churn the client intermediaries will be encouraged to place them within the group again, say with Intelligent Finance, and still receive another proc fee. The Summit was rife with rumours that HBOS would open the floodgates and offer the same products to existing borrowers as it does to new business. However, HBOS HQ refuses to be drawn on whether it has any such plans, arguing existing clients are already offered transfer products priced to be as close to new business products as possible. Ripley also gave delegates the heads-up that more lenders would have to introduce early redemption charges due to reporting requirements under Basle II and IFRS. On the subject of regulation, Ripley told delegates it plays no part in contributing to a sustainable housing market and has “undesirable, unintended consequences”. Attacking Tony Blair’s government, Ripley went on to say the UK housing market needs policy that is not reactionary or narrowly conceived and that does not generate lots of follow-up policy with excessive micro management. Ripley says what it should do is provide a safety net for the economy. Worryingly, HBOS forecasts there will only be 0.920 million property transactions this year – the first time that the figure has fallen below the million mark “for a long time”.