Specialists deny losing out to more traditional lenders

Specialist lenders have hit back at reports that regulation has resulted in them losing out to more traditional lenders, whether or not they offer better products.

A report by Henry Samuels Marketing Services found many brokers are cautious about using new lenders such as GMAC-RFC and Mortgage Express. Instead, they are sticking to established players such as Abbey and Halifax, though their product satisfaction may be lower.

However, GMAC-RFC says this is untrue. Jeff Knight, head of marketing services at the company, says: “Neither GMAC-RFC or MEX are new lenders. GMAC-RFC’s business has continued to grow since regulation by nearly 10%, at a time when others have seen a decline in business.”

Knight says GMAC-RFC expects to end December with a record number of completions and that the company continues to grow.

He says: “Brokers use us because of our competitive range of products, our first-class service and our online system. I always said regulation would see some winners and some losers, and GMAC-RFC is definitely winning as our business figures show.”

The HSMS report says only 7% of brokers regularly use GMAC-RFC, a figure disputed by the lender, while 39% and 32% regularly use Abbey and Halifax respectively.

The research also suggests brokers are unhappy with regulation, with 43% saying it has only created more work for them.

Martin Reynolds, head of sales at BM Solutions, says: “Regulation was always going to drive a flight to quality in the intermediary market. But the suggestion that brokers recommend lenders to clients without being happy with the products is wide of the mark.

“Feedback BM Solutions has gathered suggests the vast majority of brokers believe regulation has been beneficial to consumers, bringing transparency and fairness.”