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Marketwatch – January 2012

Virgin Money’s enthusiasm for the borker market is heartening and it will be backed up by Northern Rock’s excellent team. Anyone placing bridging business is advised to stick to established lenders.


Hero of the week
is the firm that caused the biggest splash last week, Virgin Money. For Sir Richard Branson to say that it is 100% committed to brokers is a shot in the arm. We should look forward to working with an exciting brand.

Villain of the week
are claims firms that think they can bully the industry and earn money for nothing chasing hard-working brokers with made-up claims. The cowboys have left our industry and we have better things to do than fight trouble-makers.



Mortgage repayments in September 2011 were at their lowest in 10 years

Mortgage repayments fell to their lowest level in 10 years in September 2011, research from Barclays revealed last week. Analysis of over one million customer accounts showed that the average monthly mortgage payment hit its lowest level since 2001 in September, at 15.2% of take-home pay, or £488 a month. For 2011 overall, payments accounted […]

Claims firms responsible for nearly half of FOS cases

Claims management companies accounted for almost half of all cases received by the Financial Ombudsman Service during 2011. Figures cited in a review of FOS by the National Audit Office last week show claims firms generated 45% of complaints to FOS last year, compared with 43% that came directly from consumers. The number of complaints […]

patrick bunton

AMI issues reassurance over chief’s departure

The Association of Mortgage Intermediaries says it is business as usual, following the announcement last week that director-general Stephen Gay is leaving. Gay joined the Association of Independent Financial Advisers and AMI in December 2011, but is leaving the trade bodies to take up the position of director of life, savings and protection at the […]

Tackling the housing crisis will take more than money

The latest housebuilding figures from the Department for Communities & Local Government confirm the worst fears of many within the property industry. We are failing to address the housing shortage in any meaningful way. Let’s look at the number of housing ‘starts’, new housing projects where work has begun. In England, work has been started […]


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