Lenders entering the specialist sector got us into this mess

I read with interest and a huge chuckle your online story \'Fitch puts HBOS-Lloyds TSB on negative ratings watch\'. If the ratings guys had got their act together in the past two years in what was clearly a market underpriced for risk, perhaps they would be taken seriously now.

More to the point, there needs to be an upbeat statement from the mortgage industry about Lloyds TSB’s takeover of HBOS, even if it came as a shock to some.

After all, I believe there will be more news like this as result of greed and overestimated, uncalculated reward forecasts.

Some 20% of the UK mortgage market last year was made up of lenders categorised as specialists and Fitch rated them accordingly.

Lenders from the US saw this as an opportunity to enter the UK market or expand their existing presence here with good ratings to support them.

Sadly, Rooftop Mortgages was one of the first high-profile casualties of the credit crunch and others have slipped away too.

We have seen the demise of some of the industry’s great brands, Solent Mortgage Services being one notable recent loss.

We have to go back to basics. The industry must try to ring-fence itself from trends dictated by the likes of Fitch. I strongly believe that if UK lenders had not attempted to compete in the specialist market we would not be in this mess.

Kevin Friend

Strategic Partnerships Director

www.mortgages.co.uk

By email