It seems that even good brokers have no future

Having been a mortgage broker for several years I have acquired a healthy client bank and until recently felt confident of being able to weather the current storm.

But the latest base rate cut and the worrying trend of providers withdrawing from selling insurance products through brokers seem to be the final nails in the coffin.

First, with the base rate at 1% and set to stay there or even below for 2009, I can’t envisage too many clients remortgaging.

Granted, there will always be some who are looking for fixed rates or are with Northern Rock or other lenders with stubbornly high SVRs, but most savvy borrowers seem happy to stay on their lenders’ SVRs and see what happens.

The second blow is Paymentshield and HBOS withdrawing from selling accident, sickness and unemployment cover via brokers, albeit only as a standalone product in Paymentshield’s case.

It’s only a matter of time before other providers follow suit and another avenue of income is closed off.

Also, Bank of Ireland is turning its back on the broker channel and HSBC is looking to pump £15bn into the market with fixed rates at 2.99%.

It is clear that brokers still trading come the end of 2009 will have done well.

I apologise if I sound negative but I’m just being realistic and I can’t see Prime Minister Gordon Brown or chancellor Alistair Darling bailing out brokers and IFAs. Good luck everyone.

Alex Groom

AGA Mortgages

Sawbridgeworth

Herts