Nationwide cuts packager panel for specialist brands

Nationwide has cut its packager panel for The Mortgage Works and UCB Home Loans, down from 50 to 20 firms.

Paul Howard, director of sales for Nationwide specialist lending, which comprises TMW and UCB Home Loans says that with less business being done in the sub-prime sector it was an unavoidable decision.

He says: “We have trimmed some of the packager arrangements we had in place, we had arrangements with about 50 firms and that has been reduced now to about 20, but the ones that we have trimmed were ones that we weren’t doing business with anyway, so it suits both sides. Any firm that we were doing appreciable volumes with we are still happy to carry on doing business with.”

John Rice, managing director at the Regulatory Alliance of Mortgage Packagers, says the move should be welcomed by the industry.

He says: “In general it’s something that I welcome because in my view all lenders should have a closer relationship with their distribution. I think the credit crunch is helping lenders focus on that, but also I think the Financial Services Authority is very keen to make sure the links in the chain are perhaps a lot closer than they have been in the past. What TMW and UCB have done is sensible and should be welcomed by the industry.”

Nationwide is that latest lender to reduce its packager panel in a bid to control distribution, Kensington recently cut its packager panel down from over 100 to just 50.