View more on these topics

JEREZ 2006: Event off to a flying start

The Jerez Mortgage Summit 2006 got off to a heated this week start with an opening debate between lenders and introducers on the future of the intermediary mortgage market.

Chaired by Kevin Duffy, managing director at Hamptons, the panel consisted of BM Solutions Tim Hague, Bank of Scotlands Charles Haresnape, sales director of Park Row Kevin Patterson, and last but not least Simon Jones, director of Savills Private Finance.

The discussions opened with direct channels versus intermediaries, with lenders urging the latter to branch out into different product areas beyond mortgages through cross-selling. However, brokers later hit back at lenders who claim ownership of clients and do not provide ongoing information to enable them to retain the client.

This was one specific issue that got Chris Cummings, director general of the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries, hot under the collar. He accused lenders of using the Data Protection Act as a defence, but pointed out that brokers have every right to access ongoing information about their clients.

The debate then moved on to proc fees with brokers calling for unified fees across the board. However, Haresnape disputed this and claimed technology and other factors had to be considered when considering proc fees.

Both sides agreed that retention fees are essential for the survival of the market, with Accords managing director Linda Will saying that business levels have increased by 100% since it introduced retention fees and that these sorts of initiatives offer a long-term opportunity for lenders.

However, Hague was quick to point out that many of the clients it sees returning to its product come through with a different intermediary.

Brokers questioned why online cost savings hadnt improved the rate of proc fees they receive. However Hague retaliated saying that despite submitting cases online many brokers continue to telephone afterwards to check if they have been received.

Lockhart Bruce, managing director at Opus, questioned if packagers have developed systems that send confirmation emails back to the broker, why lenders with their large budgets cant do the same.

Haresnape says improved case tracking is something BoS is currently working on.

Haresnape then called on brokers to charge their clients a fee for advice. He says: I cant understand why brokers are not charging the client a fee. It is a professional service they are offering and in any other profession they would charge for giving advice. It seems to be an undeveloped area.

Duffy warned that lenders were uneasy about the 75:25 balance between intermediary and direct business, and some would be looking to take back some of their market share within the next few years.

However, the lenders agreed that despite the likely consolidation of the network sector, there would be an ongoing role for both networks and packagers in the future so long as they adapted to the changing market.

The debate concluded with one delegate asking Haresnape if the reason HBOS paid the Openwork appointed representatives a 0.1% more proc fees than other brokers was related to its million pound investment in the network. Haresnape declined to comment.

Prior to the debate, delegates enjoyed the RBS Intermediary Partners barbecue on Tuesday night whilst watching the World Cup. Despite only managing a draw and Spanish commentary, delegates enjoyed their first night in Jerez. One lucky intermediary even won a plasma TV and signed England 1966 team photo.

Jonathan Burridge, managing director of Quantum Group, drew the lucky ticket the correct time for the first goal after Joe Cole scored in the 34th minute for England.


SHIP says advisors must have lifetime qualification

Safe Home Income Plans says from August 1 2007 its members will no longer accept business from advisers who do not hold a suitable lifetime mortgages qualification. This resolution from the UK equity release industry body means that all advisers will have to sit the lifetime mortgages examination offered by the Chartered Institute of Insurers, […]

FSA sets out GI review

The Financial Services Authority has today set out further details of its post-implementation review into the effectiveness of its general insurance conduct of business regime. The review is being conducted in line with the FSA’s move towards more principles-based regulation and with its commitment to the Better Regulation agenda.The effectiveness review began this year and […]

Dear Delia

Jo is a first-time buyer and is looking to purchase an ex-council flat that is on the top floor of a six-storey block. She has only been self-employed for the past nine months so does not have a full set of accounts. Jo’s income is 22,000 and the flat is worth 90,000. She has raised a 10% deposit. What are her options?

Keeping the regulator off your case

The Home Buyer System can protect networks and appointed representatives from falling foul of the FSA but can also be adapted for use by directly authorised brokers, says Frank Eve

Infographic - thumbnail

Infographic — health cash plans 2014

Health Shield has strengthened its position in the cash plan market, according to the latest Laing & Buisson report, increasing its market share by income from £27m in 2012 to £29m in 2013. The Health Cover UK Market Report 2014 revealed that the non-profit-making Friendly Society was the only provider in the top four to have increased its market share by income over the past year. Health Shield was also the only cash plan provider in the top four to have increased its market share by income every year for the previous five years. This infographic presents the figures.


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up