BDM cuts spark fears over NatWest lending

Ray Boulger
Ray Boulger, Lending drop is possible

NatWest Intermediary Solutions’ decision to slash its field-based BDM team by half has raised concerns that it is planning to reduce the amount of lending it does via brokers.

The Royal Bank of Scotland’s intermediary arm is cutting its field BDMs from 40 to 19, as well as reducing its sales managers from four to two. It is also cutting another six roles within its administration and business support team.

Its phone-based BDM team remains unaffected at 11.

Staff at the lender are in consultation and it says the process should be completed by the end of March.

Ray Boulger, senior technical manager at John Charcol, says the move suggests RBS has a smaller appetite for mortgage lending.

He says: “NatWest cannot expect to write the same level of mortgage business through brokers with half the number of BDMs.

“It will have to decide how best to reallocate existing BDMs’ time, but it would be logical to ensure the brokers who give it the most business continue to have a good level of service, meaning some smaller brokers may be neglected.”

A spokesman for NatWest says the redundancies are part of an ongoing UK-wide review of RBS’ retail operations.

The spokesman says: “NatWest will continue to be a strategic mortgage channel for the group and we are committed to offering intermediaries a great range of mortgages that is supported by excellent service.

“The investment we have made in our new website, launched last month, is going to make a positive impact on the ease with which brokers can submit applications and our instant messaging service, LiveTALK, has proved to be a valued enhancement of the NatWest experience.”