View more on these topics

Exclusive Connections: Entering a new era of quality

What do intermediaries expect from packagers? This might seem to have an obvious answer with the cries of good products and low rates and higher commission at the top of the list. But there is a wider expectation that should really be at the top of advisers’ lists when deciding what they want from packagers.

The fundamental reason why brokers use packagers has been the access to lenders that only use packagers as their route to market. For packagers to continue to be as influential in the market, they have to look further than the obvious benefits provided to introducers and recognise the market is changing and becoming more sophisticated.

The question an intermediary should be asking its packager is whether the service it offers is of a quality that fits with its firm’s compliance footprint.

“Ability to deliver a service which complements that of the brokers and helps them to meet their compliance goals, will be the new differentiator”Some might think packagers are all the same and therefore there is little point. However, they are not the same and the ‘quality’ issue and how it affects intermediaries is becoming more pertinent with the changing face of regulation and the growing professionalism of many in the packaging community.

Intermediaries will have to recognise that any, or all, of their professional contacts can have an effect on their ability to stay compliant. Looking to packagers to provide access to the best products is one thing, but their ability to deliver the right kind of service, which complements that of the intermediary and assists them to meet their compliance goals, will be the new differentiator.

This means that if we look past the products themselves we have to see whether the packager is offering whole-of-market access.

An easy mistake to make when using a packager is if, say, an intermediary has already decided that the Superduper Mortgage Company’s 3.5% two-year fixed rate is going to be the recommendation, then finding a packager simply to access the product and process the deal is not a problem.

However, if like with many intermediaries, a packager also acts as a helpmate, giving a choice of products from which to make a recommendation then it is vital the packager is doing this from a wide enough range to represent ‘whole of market’.

Fundamentally, as we know, non-conforming or sub-prime mortgages are too complicated to be accurately analysed simply with a sourcing system and the packager role has become more important in assisting intermediaries make the right choices.

As part of the quality audit a good packager must be able to demonstrate its service is robust enough to ensure the customer’s application is dealt with in a timely manner and that information about the progress of the case is available both orally and written.

With increasing importance placed on technology, good packagers should have an interactive website allowing intermediaries to not only access detail of the progress of a case but also be able to send and receive an agreement in principle and application.

Quality management will be the watchword for the new generation of packagers. Those that have not seen the signs of change should explore other business opportunities.

Recommended

Kensington sales star quits for Swift

Martin Sims has quit his position of head of sales development and project management at Kensington Mortgages to join the Swift Group. Swift has appointed Sims to move into developing its sector specific sales teams. He has also held a former position as sales and marketing director for Praxis. Swift says Sims will have a […]

Only in graduate recruitment drive

The Only Group is to recruit 200 staff by the end of the year from the graduate and young professional markets. Posts to fill include mortgage and loans advisers and customer services staff.

MEX relaunches self-cert mortgages

Mortgage Express has released of a number of self-cert mortgages, following a reprice of all fixed rate products within its self-cert range.MEX has reduced rates on existing products by up to 0.35%. It now offers a two-year self-cert mortgage at a fixed rate of 5.99%. The product, which has an arrangement fee of 999, is […]

Energy-assessors says UK is ready for HIPs

Energy-assessors.com has predicted that there will be more than enough operatives to make sure Energy Performance Certificates will be up and running on June 1.Stephen Callaghan, director of energy-assessors.com, says: The government has now officially confirmed that there are an estimated 3,000 Domestic Energy Assessors in training. Along with the vast numbers expected to enter […]

Frexit & contagion risk in Europe

Many commentators have suggested the UK’s exit from the European Union will trigger a domino effect, leading to its eventual break-up. Neptune Head of European Equities Rob Burnett discusses the likelihood of this happening. Click here to read more Important informationInvestment risks Neptune funds may have a high historic volatility rating and past performance is […]

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up