Will brokers lose out when HIPs come in?

Mortgage Strategy last week revealed that the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries had convened a special meeting with senior industry figures to discuss the impact of Home Information Packs.

One of the concerns raised at the meeting was that HIP providers could cut brokers out by offering customers a mortgage proposition.

Industry pundits are concerned about market domination by a few big corporations, and that small brokers being driven out of business could leave consumers with less choice when it comes to mortgages and advice.

So, Mortgage Strategy asks: “Do you have any concerns about the impact HIPs will have on your business?”
Bob Singh, Chess Financial Services – I’m treating HIPs as a serious potentialthreat to my business and highlighted my concernsto the ODPM at a recent meeting. I’m taking steps to establish close linkswith estate agencies to develop a referral processand create a white-label HIP providing company. When someone decides to sell their property – and hopefully buy another one -the mortgage intermediary has to make sure they areinvolved in thedecision-makingprocess at some stage to increase their chances of beinginstructed when it comes to the mortgage.

Simon Evans, Scarborough – The introduction of HIPs represents an undoubted challenge for everyone in the sector, as does all new legislation. A period of learning and business adjustment will follow. Smaller brokers with fewer resources to call on will naturally be concerned about their ability to cope with the changes and compete with bigger players. At Scarborough, we are looking at ways we can help and support brokers in implementing HIPs. For example, we are posting advisory information on our intermediary website.

David Hollingworth, London & Country – HIPs will undoubtedly help estate agents add more weight to their argument when they are attempting to secure mortgage business. This strengthened position for the agent has to be of concern, not just considering the impact on brokers but also the effect it will have on consumers, who may end up receiving advice from a limited lender panel rather than the whole of the market. The average consumer may think advice from a seven-lender panel is a good deal. It must be spelt out that mortgage advice does not have to be taken from the HIP salesman.

Jonathan Burridge, Quantum – HIPs offer a significant opportunity to all in the house selling process, provided they are embraced universally and we all work to generate consumer confidence. Their inevitable introduction poses some challenging questions to the established process which must be answered positively by lenders, conveyancers, solicitors and intermediaries. If this development is welcomed in, there is no reason it should not simplify and expedite the process without increasing costs.

Martin Reynolds, BM Solutions – As with any fundamental market change, HIPs are likely to bring with them short-term disruption. As a lender, we are keen to see the effect HIPs will have on the fluidity of the mortgage market. A key item for lenders will also be the acceptance of the valuations produced as part of HIPs.