It’s that time of year when everyone starts to look ahead to the New Year and think about how they’d change their strategy for greater success in the year ahead.
We’ve already created our plan for 2013, what we need to carry on doing, what areas we need to place more focus and what we’d do differently.
Well for us next year the focus will be about maximising our opportunities and one way we have decided to make that happen is by giving away more business.
Some of you will be thinking that I have finally lost the plot but it does make commercial sense.
When we look at 2012 we have wasted a massive amount of time trying to place deals that are outside our usual parameters.
In a lot of these cases the deal doesn’t come off anyway or we get undercut.
Next year we will be passing these to a third party specialist broker in return for a pay away.
This will allow us to concentrate on enquiries we can place and deal with clients we can add value to.
The old adage that a percentage of something is better than 100 per cent of nothing also sprang to mind when making this decision.
By sticking to our knitting we are convinced that we will be even more profitable in 2013 and some of you should consider this honest approach too.
The most recent edition of the Financial Ombudsman Service’s Ombudsman News made interesting reading for me due to its headline – “People are still feeling the pinch – and many more are prepared to take action if they have a problem”.
I think this may be a lot more accurate if we inserted the word “therefore” so that it then read, “People are still feeling the pinch therefore many more are prepared to take action if they have a problem”.
I find it quite extraordinary that the FOS can’t find any large scale evidence of claimants “chancing their arm”, or being prompted to complain using set patterns by CMCs, and those on well known websites.
Surely there has to be a more concrete correlation between the state of the economy and what is coming relentlessly at the FOS,and authorised firms?
Do they sample and test a certain number of claims? If so what are these tests?
Do they speak to individual claimants, rather than the CMC if there is one, to get more specifics on a claim, but outside the actual process itself?
When we look at the large scale whiplash fraud that is being carried on in the UK, I cant help but feel that surely the huge numbers of claims going to the FOS are not all without question?
Should there not be a review of how the entire complaints process works? In particular the function of CMCs where essentially a firm bases its income on generating more and more complaints – like throwing mud at a wall.
CMCs therefore have a vested interest in incentivising, initialising or prompting a complaint.
This is fundamentally wrong,and is exactly why the car insurance industry finds itself in such a predicament with whiplash claims.
There seems to be a very large party going on at the moment and the music needs to stop before the entire industry grinds to a halt.
The Mortgage Insurance Shop
I was interested to read the recent story in Mortgage Strategy about the fact the large majority of mortgage brokers would not consider recommending someone outside of the industry to join, According to Mortgage Strategy’s straw poll last week some 244 people responded to the poll and 192 respondents, a whopping 79 per cent, say they would not advise becoming a mortgage broker.
London & Country head of communications David Hollingworth and Trinity Financial’s Aaron Strutt both argued why it was attractive – but I wouldn’t recommend anyone joining this industry for the following reasons:
* Brokers have been vilified by the media and the mortgages industry in general.
* Lenders have proved that the relationship they have with brokers is one of convenience, which they will not hesitate to break if it suits.
* The regulator has never engaged with the local broker and seems only interested in squeezing as much as they can in fees and charges. Possibly in the hope that the broker community is declared extinct.
In other words the reason I wouldn’t recommend anyone join our industry is because it is difficult to see a future in financial advice/sales.
The negative comments about mortgage broking as a profession that were left underneath the recent story on the 79 per cent of Mortgage Strategy Online readers who said they would not recommend someone outside of the industry take up the profession, is for me the reason I would encourage people to join the industry.
It is time that these archaic views were put to rest and people realised that they are in the industry in one of the toughest economic times of the last 30 years of course there is going to be more work to be done.
It’s not that the FSA or Financial Conduct Authority, or whatever variant of name it chooses to be known as, want rid of brokers – it just wants to get rid of brokers with this viewpoint!
New blood in the industry can only drive out this pathetic self pitying attitude that so many seem to have adopted.
Bob the builder
In response to the recent story on mortgage brokers giving the profession the thumbs down as a career, I work for a fee free broker, and think it is a great industry to work in.
The changes in the Retail Distribution Review and Mortgage Market Review in my view will make it more difficult for lenders to keep their non-advising advisers, so brokers are the obvious choice for lenders that don’t want to retrain all their staff.
I have spoken with about half a dozen lenders in the last few weeks that are keen to lend ongoing, and haven’t been this year. The future is looking good in my opinion.
I was interested to read the blog post on Mortgage Strategy Online last week by James Bawa, chief executive of Teachers Building Society about the fact that lenders must abandon their ‘computer says no’ approach to mortgages if we are to prevent the average age of the first-time buyer hitting 40 by the end of the decade.
Bawa said that the age of the average first-time buyer is relentlessly on the rise, racing from 28 in the 1990s to 35 today, aquoting a survey by Post Office Mortgages in September 2012.
This is hardly surprising he argued given the changes in availability of mortgages and the need to provide a larger deposit that are currently huge barriers to many aspiring home owners.
I agreed with much of what Bawa said in the article but, and it is a huge but, purchasers have to realise, as their grand parents did but not usually their parents, that they have to make an increased effort to get what they want.
If first-time buyers want to buy a house perhaps they’ll have to give up the regular new cars and the two or three holidays a year they go on. And Bawa I aim that latter comment specifically at the teachers looking to buy. People need to knuckle down and make the effort to adjust their spending.
They will also have to take more care of their credit record as even one late payment is going to cause them a problem.
To answer the question often posed in lifestyle consumer magazines, no you can’t have it all – people will just have to make some tough choices.
I couldn’t believe some of the comments left in response to Teachers Building Society chief executive James Bawa’s blog on Mortgage Strategy Online last week.
In particular the patronising comment : “If first-time buyers want to buy a house perhaps they’ll have to give up the regular new cars and the two or three holidays a year”.
Lots of people do not have a new car or a regular holiday and still cannot afford to save enough for a deposit.
Loss of jobs three or four years ago when the recession started and people struggled with loan or credit card repayments have given people blemishes on their credit files that despite having been repaid are still causing them trouble getting mortgages now.
You do need to make some tough choices but the fact is, people do not have enough money to live-let alone save thousands of pounds.
Name and address supplied
I agree entirely with John lacy’s comments in response to Teachers chief executive James Bawa’s blog and do not think they are patronising at all, just the truth.
Recently I read a sob story in The Daily Mail where a young couple had given up their rented flat to live in with parents as this was the only way they could save. Oh, by the way, they had just returned from a two weeks holiday in California.
I arranged a mortgage for a 21 year old who boasted that he was the only person among his 70 or so friends who had been able to save a deposit. He admitted the reason for this was because he had been banned from driving and so there was less opportunity to waste money.