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MS Leader: Step in the right direction

Recent proc fee cuts have clearly rattled brokers – this week’s straw poll shows 80% expect further falls on the back of Lloyds Banking Group and Nationwide’s reductions.

Only time will tell whether this is fatalism or just a shrewd assessment of the direction the market is going in.

But as our lead story this week reveals, a major lender is rethinking its proc fee strategy and plans to take into account the quality of business submitted rather than simply whether it’s from directly authorised firms or appointed representatives. This could have far-reaching consequences for brokers.

Unlike the recent cuts where DA brokers lost out while ARs’ proc fees were unchanged, this may not be such a bad thing. A system that takes into account various factors, from compliance and packaging to case quality, could have a number of merits. Currently lenders potentially pay a higher fee to a lousy AR who packages cases badly and has dubious compliance and a lower fee to a great DA firm. This is patently unfair and makes no sense for lenders from a regulatory perspective either.

DA brokers would also need to prove the worth of their compliance support, which could alter the relationship clubs have with brokers. Instead of DA firms using a variety of clubs it could lead to them committing to one.

Obviously there could be negative consequences from all of this. What happens to DA firms that are shy of commitment and like doing their own thing? If brokers were forced to adopt a model similar to networks, would it be good for market diversity?

But if it helps brokers command proc fees based on what they do rather than whether they are DA or an AR, then it seems a step in the right direction.

Recommended

Marketwatch – April 2012

It’s been an interesting couple of weeks reading the industry press. It’s almost as if we have rolled back the years.

Mortgage fees have rocketed by more than 25% in last three years

The average mortgage fee has increased by more than £300 in the past three years, the latest figures from Moneyfacts.co.uk show. Its research reveals that although residential mortgage rates have continued to fall in most cases compared with three years ago, fees have continued to go up, with the average fee now £1,502 compared with […]

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