There should be no doubt over Abbey’s broker commitment

I was disappointed to see Sue Read\'s article in the April 20 issue of Mortgage Strategy on Abbey for Intermediaries\' attitude towards brokers as I feel she has not understood all that we are doing for them.

For example, Read thinks that we have abandoned the idea of paying retention fees. This is simply not true, we have not abandoned the idea, but despite our best endeavours we have not found a way to make it economically viable for our business to offer such a scheme. If we could find such a way, you can be assured that we will implement it.

Indeed, this sentiment was recently covered in an article in Mortgage Strategy that followed our recent key accounts conference. We took time to explain our position on this and other matters close to the heart of the broker market in an open and honest way. In particular, I would like to emphasise the word ‘open’ because in the current market it would be far too easy for us to close down and not communicate with brokers.

This is not in our nature, and as one of the largest intermediary mortgage lenders we feel it is our responsibility to ensure we communicate all aspects of our business with you.

We host events across the country throughout the year that echo this sentiment in all of them. We also invest a lot of time in communicating all aspects of our business to the intermediary market.

Furthermore, our motive of offering the chance for brokers to package mortgages with other financial products from Abbey was then brought into question.

Apart from offering general insurance these plans are still in the development stage.

But I would have thought brokers would be delighted with the chance of offering added value to their customers at a time when the value brokers offer is what separates them from financial websites and other forms of non-advice-based mortgage information.

There should be no doubt of our commitment to the intermediary market, as demonstrated by continued access we provide to broker exclusives, our recent investment in our new website, streamlining our BDM workforce and ultimately helping to bring Alliance & Leicester back as a strong lender in the intermediary market.

Surely no-one would doubt that if we are willing to invest time and money in the business in this way, then we must be also committed to the success of it in the market and in turn to the needs and requirements of our customers.

Ricky Okey MD Abbey for Intermediaries &

Alliance & Leicester Intermediary Sales

By email