Packagers slam SPML for favouring brokers

Southern Pacific Mortgage Limited has been blasted by its packaging partners for switching its loyalty from them to brokers.

The Lehman Brothers-owned len-der, whose main distribution route is through packagers, has been offering brokers a £100 fee if they submit direct applications online.

The incentive, which has been in place for over 12 months but has only recently come to light among packagers, has caused some to accuse SPML of favouring direct-to-broker channels.

John Rice, managing director of the Regulatory Alliance of Mortgage Packagers, says: “Most of our members will be disappointed with SPML for doing this. It is taking business away from us and I’m surprised it feels the need to.

“It is favouring one distribution channel over the other and our members will see this as a poor show.”

Simon Goldthorpe, director of Beacon Homeloans, says: “You can’t run with the hare and hunt with the hound. SPML has been supportive of packagers in the past,

but this is a deliberate attempt to circumvent them.

“SPML is meant to be our partner but this does not look like a partnership anymore.”

Roger Morris, managing director at em-financial, says: “This shows SPML has dual standards for brokers and packagers. It seems like it is trying to cut out the packagers.”

But Guy Batchelor, executive director of sales and marketing for Lehman Brothers Mortgage Capital, says the incentive is aimed at enabling brokers to transact with SPML online and drive broker traffic to its website.

He says: “SPML has done a negligible amount of business through the dir-ect-to-broker channel. I can assure packagers that it is not looking to grow its broker-direct business, as Lehmans’ new direct-to-broker brand will cater for that.

“You can’t look at individual incentives in isolation, you have to look at the overall value of doing business with us. We will always be loyal to packagers and they have nothing to fear from this broker offering.”

He adds: “Our packagers know that SPML is a packager-focussed brand and always will be.”