Lender accused of elitism

A broker has accused Newcastle of elitism over its refusal to offer its products to all brokers.

Chelsea Mortgage Management says it recently contacted the building society with a view to doing business to it but was told that it only introduced to selected brokers, including Savills and Charcol.

Simon Bucknell, business development manager at Chelsea Mortgage Management, says: “I spoke to the business development manager at Newcastle and he told me that it did not take introducer business. I said that was funny as it had exclusives with Savills and Charcol. He said it did but that Newcastle doesn&#39t normally take business from other introducers unless it is sub-prime business through a packager.

Bucknell adds: “I guess Newcastle will roll out the same old excuses about this being to manage business better but it smacks of elitism to me.”

Bucknell says his main concern is that this type of strategy will make it impossible for directly authorised mortgage brokers to say they are independent once regulation comes in if they cannot access the whole of the market.

But the FSA says that as this is a commercial decision on the part of the lender, provided brokers can demonstrate they have looked across the market there should not be a problem.

A spokesman from Newcastle tells Mortgage Strategy that while the society has numerous distribution channels, these are under constant review. He says: “In no way is it a closed door to introducers. Newcastle is highly conscious of authorisation and how that is going to change the market. Hence distribution channels are under regular review.”