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Lenders should be fair now because they will need brokers again one day

I was interested to read Scott Swift’s letter in the April 7 issue of Mortgage Strategy. I share Swift’s frustration with the way Royal Bank of Scotland Intermediary Partners’ First Active brand has changed its retention policy but unfortunately, this is just the tip of the iceberg – lenders simply don’t need brokers as much as they did before the liquidity crisis.

For example, Woolwich currently has a 60% LTV lifetime tracker available at base rate plus 0.79% with no redemption penalties or fees, but this can only be arranged direct with the lender.

At the time of writing, the best lifetime tracker from Woolwich that brokers can access is available at base rate plus 1.59% and carries penalties for the first three years. How is this fair on brokers looking for the best deals for customers?

I know it’s been always the case that customers get different products di-rect from lenders but this situation is getting worse.

The leader column in the same issue lays out the benefits of using brokers but brokers are becoming less reliable when it comes to providing the best deals for customers.

The way brokers are being treated is shameful. So come on lenders, give us a break – you may not think we are important at the moment but there will come a time when you need us again, so please start treating brokers fairly.

Kevin Mitchell
Blueprint Mortgages
By email


AMI Expo seminar subjects revealed

The organiser of Mortgage Business Expo Manchester has revealed the programme of seminars to be held in the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries area. Clarion Events says the seminars will include a debate on the relationship between directly authorised brokers, appointed representatives and franchise panels. Small firms’ preparations for regulatory visits will also be covered and […]

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England vs Australia: pensions

Well, the cricket season is here, and England and Australia are stepping up to the wicket. Although we compete with each other in the sporting world, when it comes to pensions, Australia’s pension programme is held up as a model for our auto-enrolment initiative. Auto-enrolment was introduced because people weren’t saving enough into their pensions, and it is still early days but signs are positive. However, in Australia, saving into a pension is compulsory, and in fact employers are the ones who have to pay in. Employees in Australia can make additional contributions into their pensions, but they don’t have to. Should the onus be on the employer or employee to save? Well in the UK we think it’s both, but to get ‘adequate’ savings for retirement it’s the employee who has to pay more in.


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