BDS Mortgage Group has defended suggestions that a self-cert marketing brochure recently sent to brokers is irresponsible.
The document tells brokers that GMAC-RFC's self-cert STAR product is “just the ticket to avoid those awkward situations with new clients… you don't have to declare an income on the application form, removing the risk of you becoming famous for all the wrong reasons.”
It adds: “You may have seen The Money Programme It seems to have caused quite a stir!” The Consumers' Association expressed concern, saying such tactics were worrying in the light of spiralling consumer dept.
And Ray Boulger, senior technical manager at Charcol, is surprised at the move. He says: “I have always considered BDS to be one of the best packagers so I found the tone of this leaflet surprising. The product in question is perfectly sound but even mild innuendo is irresponsible when the market is under close scrutiny.”
GMAC-RFC says it was not consulted before the brochure was released. Head of marketing services Jeff Knight says: “While we have a good arm's length business relationship with BDS, we do not condone its marketing material. This flyer was issued without our knowledge or consent and does not accurately reflect the product's proposition. With STAR we do not ask for any income confirmation but we impose additional underwriting hurdles that we do not request with our full status lending products.”
But Phil Jay, managing director of BDS, says: “This was an email to a select few on our database to address self-cert concerns and provide an update. Lighthearted comments are often used in marketing.”