View more on these topics

Santander chief flies flag for integrated European market

Juan Rodriguez Inciarte, director general of Spanish banking giant Group Santander, says Abbey will win confidence with the public and intermediaries by offering more choice, better prices and products they really need.

Speaking at Mortgage Strategy’s Mortgage Summit in Jerez, Spain, Rodriguez Inciarte told delegates: “The way we can achieve this is by having more integrated and competitive mortgage markets in the EU.”

Santander’s objective in the UK is to increase competition in much the same way it has done in Spain.

Flying the flag for further EU integration, Rodriguez Inciarte went on to say European mortgage market integration would lead to more housing stock, lower interest rates and higher private consumption.

He refused to be drawn on whether the UK should join the euro, saying that while integration would benefit the financial services industry, it wouldn’t necessarily benefit the UK economy.

The Santander chief says the UK has a strong and healthy mortgage market but that Abbey could learn things from Santander in the same way that the Spanish bank could assimilate some practices from the UK company into its operations.

Spain has the highest number of bank branches per million inhabitants of any country in Europe and Rodriguez Inciarte says the reason for this is that Spanish customers see banks as a one-stop shop for all their financial needs. This lessens the need to go through different brokers for different products.

He says: “The UK mortgage industry is highly fragmented in terms of the number of channels available to obtain services but that is part of the tradition in the national market.

“Wherever we operate we try to be local and apply methods and processes that are suitable for that market.

“We want Abbey to be the number one lender in the UK both for consumers and for the intermediaries that deal with us.”

Recommended

Brokers guide consumers through the jungle of hype

In recent weeks there’s been media criticism of certain banks and societies for reducing their savings rates by more than the Bank of England reduction. If this is a surprise to anybody, it’s tempting to ask what planet they’ve been on for the past 20 years, which is certainly the minimum amount of time these […]

BoE holds interest rate at 4.5%

The Bank of England has voted to keep interest rates on hold at 4.5%The decision by the nine-member Monetary Policy Committee comes after last months cut of a quarter point from 4.75%, the first cut in two years.

No excuses for poor disclosure

Brokers may moan about the FSA’s mystery shopping trips but they would do better to learn from the results and sharpen up their act when it comes to disclosure, says Bill Warren

Hamptons forges equity link with KRS

Hamptons International Mortgages has outsourced its equity release business to Key Retirement Solutions. The London brokerage’s parent group, estate agency Hamptons International, has some 60,000 people register with it each year. However, of these 20% currently withdraw from the sale or purchase of a property, sometimes because a lifetime mortgage provides a better solution. KRS […]

A funny old year

The past 12 months have been turbulent – just take a look at this chart of the FTSE 100 over the last year. There have been some points which I’m sure would have caused your clients some concern, and possibly even had them looking for an alternative investment with reduced volatility; perhaps without reducing their […]

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up