Smaller lenders give brokers vital choice

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ALAN CLEARY, MANAGING DIRECTOR, PRECISE MORTGAGES

Astory was doing the rounds in the media two weeks ago under the title ’Lenders penalise families with children’.

I wasn’t surprised by the title as affordability is a key dynamic when assessing an applicant’s ability to service loan repayments and it is pretty obvious that living costs have a correlation to the size of a family.

The bit that did surprise me was the admission by a high street lender that it would lend more to a customer who came to them direct than it would to a customer who came via an intermediary.

While I am well aware that dual-criteria is as commonplace as dual pricing I didn’t expect the lender to go on record about it.

It does smell a bit that lenders continue to use these kind of tactics but I guess they believe that brokers have no choice.

What I do not know is just how deep this behaviour runs and what other below-the-radar tactics are being employed.

A number of us smaller lenders who choose an intermediary-only distribution strategy do not have the same constraints and as time ticks by we hope to become a more significant contributor to gross lending figures.

My estimation is that there is north of a billion pounds to lend this year between the broker-only lenders and we need brokers’ support wherever it is practical.

We chose the broker market because we believe it contributes a valuable service to borrowers and lenders and we have no intention of backing away from our approach.