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Net dominance is a distant dream

Colin Dale, head of lending, Skipton When people talk about internet lending, it&#39s worth asking what their definition is. If they are referring to the fact application forms are available online, then the practise is widespread. If, however, they are talking about housebuyers being able to fill in a form online and press a button to send it to a lender who can deal with the request in an electronic format, then it is far less so.

Most people use the internet to gather information before making a purchase in the traditional way. Although buying online is becoming more popular, the feeling is that the more expensive and complicated the item involved, the more people stick to tried and tested channels.

In the UK, less than 10% of lending is conducted over the internet. Many lenders see online information as an additional channel rather than one that will eventually replace another. If anything, as the pressure is on to keep branches open but make them more profitable, lenders would appear to be driving for more face-to-face business. There&#39s no doubting that a more sophisticated breed of customer will emerge – one who wants to be able to apply for a loan at any time of day or night – but the time when this is the norm is a lot further away than some might think.


Skipton appoints head of corporate investments

Skipton has appointed Liz Law as its new head of corporate investments to manage any further acquisitions to the 18-company strong Skipton Group, while overseeing relationships and communication within the Group. With an MSc from Leeds Metropolitan University, Law joined the Society in 1990, working her way up through a variety of roles, including stores […]

Would the European fixed rate plan work in the UK?

Long-term fixes continue to miss their consumer target in the UK despite persistent endorsement from the government. While the political will is strong to use long term fixes as a way of curbing our volatile mortgage market, consumers remain to be convinced. So, with Cheshire&#39s current 25-year fix the last man standing in a field […]

Downloading is a big-time bore From Richard Griffiths

I would like to comment on Gary Dixon&#39s letter in the November 3 issue. On the FSA website its says: “From 1 October 2002, we will charge for all publications ordered through our print-on-demand service”. You cannot get the printed version of the FSA handbook – 26 books which arrive in seven boxes – until […]

Sales growth suggests a gradual return of consumer confidence

New business figures from the ABI show that, for the first time in two years, the amount invested in regular premium life and pensions policies is on an upward trend. In the first nine months of 2003 the value of new premiums increased by 3% from £836m in January to £863m in October. This compares […]

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Consumer attitudes to protection

Royal London commissioned Opinium to run our State of the Protection Nation research to find out how people felt about their own protection needs and the industry as a whole. By Ross Jackson, Senior Protection Marketing Manager We surveyed people who had already taken out some kind of protection insurance and those who didn’t have […]


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