Battle for business in downturn has led to brokers improving standards

One positive result of the financial crisis is that it has made brokers more professional, says Richard Tugwell, head of national sales at Northern Rock.

Speaking at the Council of Mort-gage Lenders conference last week, he told delegates that intermediary standards have improved.
He says: “Brokers have become more consumer-centric and are treating borrowers as clients they can service again.”

He says customers have become hard to come by so brokers are having to work harder and improve standards.

And Ian Andrew, head of inter-mediary sales at Nationwide Build-ing Society, told delegates: “There has been a cleansing process and the intermediary market has con-tracted, but the quality of brokers has increased.”

David Finlay, intermediary sales director at Barclays, says he believes the growth in the market will be led by brokers.
Tugwell also believes that bro-kers will drive growth.

But he adds: “The only thing that could stop intermediaries leading growth would be if new entrants to the market only sell direct deals, but I don’t anticipate that happening anytime soon.”