Broker opinion ignored for Shapps’ FTB summit


The Association of Mortgage Intermediaries was excluded from Grant Shapp’s first-time buyer summit last week, despite 66% of first-time buyers being arranged by brokers.

The housing minister hosted the meeting which was attended by several industry bodies including the Council of Mortgage Lenders, the Building Societies Association and the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association.

But AMI was left out, despite recent figures from the CML revealing that brokers introduced 66% of first-time buyer deals in 2010 in terms of the total number of loans and 65% in terms of the value of first-time buyer loans.

Robert Sinclair, director of AMI says: “The broker community has an insight into the first-time buyer market and what is genuinely causing these buyers difficulty.

“We would welcome the opportunity to be a part of any future initiatives to ensure they are practical and capable of achieving the int-ended results.”

David Hollingworth, mortgage specialist at London & Country, says it would have been useful for AMI to attend.

He says: “Brokers are dealing with the issues first-time buyers face on a daily basis. It would have been useful to have that perspective there. But hopefully this summit will be the opening for further discussions.

“It is impossible for anyone to ignore the intermediary aspect of the market and brokers are at the heart of it.

He adds: “It was important for the government to initially get people like the CML around the table, but it would be good to see AMI brought into the discussions.”

Peter Williams, executive director of IMLA, is not surprised AMI wasn’t invited because the summit was about first-time buyer mortgages in general, not selling mortgages.

He says: “There is no meaning in AMI not being there. The focus of the summit was on the supply of mortgages, not much was said about the intermediary market.

“That is not to say the intermed-iary market is not important, it is hugely important, and we want to see the market grow. But the meeting was about how we can help the market open up again.”

Issues discussed at the summit included the need for a rapid resolution to the Mortgage Market Review and the important role government can play in brokering mortgage insurance guarantee schemes.