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Long-term hope for brokers

Brokers have long prophesied that with the base rate at an all-time low the market would see an opportunity for long-term fixed deals at some point. It seems that time has arrived.

Although In The Loop Mortgages’ 4.99% 20-year fixed rate product launched last week is only a limited release via Mortgage Intelligence, it is hopefully a sign of the direction in which the market is heading.

HSBC has long offered a range of five-year fixed rates that brokers have been locked out of so it’s fingers crossed that In The Loop’s move inspires other lenders to get creative. Even chancellor Alistair Darling claims it is not the government’s intention to hamper innovation in the financial services industry.

Let’s hope Lord Adair Turner, chairman of the Financial Services Authority, remembers that when he puts together his report on the mortgage market in September and thinks twice about capping LTVs and income multiples.

The 20-year fixed rate mortgage is also a cracking marketing tool for MI to attract ARs. MI came up with the idea and In The Loop worked with the network to make the product a reality. MI’s managing director Sally Laker said last week that the phone had been ringing off the hook following the launch. Hardly surprising.

The move also reinforces the case for brokers to look at the benefits they derive from the networks, clubs and packagers they use. This is the worst downturn for decades, with many lenders restricting the list of distributors they deal with, so it’s vital you partner up with a firm that can keep your business ticking over.

Well done to MI and In The Loop for innovating when the market is in such a dire state.

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