Nationwide joins the gang of lenders that seem happy to undermine brokers

It was with dismay that I learnt recently of another lender happy to undercut the products available to brokers with better ones in branches. Most readers will already be aware of Woolwich\'s tracker deal as well as the stance of Principality and I\'m sure there are a few other culprits too, but now Nationwide has joined this group.

For purchasers, brokers now have the choice of 1.15% above the base rate for two years or 1.34% above the base rate for life, the same as in Nationwide’s branches. But for the same fee as the two-year option, direct customers can access a product at 0.74% above the base rate for three years. Why can’t we have access to this deal?

Matthew Wyles, now non-retail director at Nationwide, came from Portman, a lender with a history of such promotions. Despite him taking a pop at some lenders in last week’s Mortgage Strategy on unrelated matters, un-surprisingly he does not mention Nationwide’s stance on dual pricing.

This raises some questions. Nearly all consumer press articles call for customers to get independent advice but if we have to charge them because recommended products carry no proc fees, how is that treating them fairly?

And to avoid paying broker fees, some customers will go direct to lenders. How will they obtain advice and recommendations on products from the whole market?

This is distorting the market. Brokers have access to trackers whose rates are around a third higher than fixed deals, so many clients are opting for fixed deals on pricing alone. But lenders have a narrower margin between the two rate types.

We all know Nationwide is in the process of recruiting BDMs but how hard is their job going to be now?

Brokers, I urge you to make a list of lenders that have gone out of their way to put you at a disadvantage in these difficult times. Then, when normality returns and those lenders come knocking on your door again, remind them of how much they valued you when the going got tough and slam the door in their faces.

Peter Stokes
Director Davidson Deem
By email