Looking back on 2014, it truly seems to have been a transformational year for the mortgage advisory community.
To say that the MMR was a game-changer is perhaps an understatement but it now seems clear that the intermediary distribution channel is going to be the main, long-term beneficiary of the new regulatory environment.
The clearest evidence of that was probably HSBC’s decision to enter the intermediary fray. A lender that had previously seemed entrenched in direct-only distribution opting to offer its products via intermediaries was (and is) a particularly visible signal of the mortgage market shift.
Intermediaries are now in the driving seat and it looks likely that about 65 per cent of all mortgage sales in 2014 will have come via brokers. This is likely to increase further in 2015.
The intermediary sector may now begin to find its voice again and lenders will face greater pressure to find product solutions for borrowers who are currently underserved in this market.
Potential borrowers with small deposits and the high-LTV area in general should be on their radar given that, even with Help to Buy, there is a shortage of products. Intermediaries, one hopes, will encourage all lenders to review their offerings in this market and urge them to give greater choice for borrowers with a small deposit.
This year, therefore, looks likely to be very interesting, not least because intermediaries have the opportunity to exercise genuine ‘player power’.