RBS IP was ditched at the beginning of 2010 and with it RBS IP’s multi-brand strategy whereby it offered products under the banner of RBS, First Active, and the One Account.
Previously each brand represented a certain type of mortgage: RBS was for purchases and home movers, First Active handled remortgage business, the One Account dealt with current account mortgages, and NatWest predominantly managed buy-to-let cases, though some mortgages were distributed through Countrywide under the NatWest brand.
These brands were all discontinued at the end of January 2010 and RBS’s intermediary business was all funnelled via NatWest Intermediary Solutions.
But this will remain, with RBS IP designed to “complement” the existing mortgage offering with its own separate team.
An RBS spokesman says: “With the funding in place to increase our lending, this new channel will give us even more opportunity to save our customers money on their mortgage or help them with their dream move.”
In an interview with The Guardian at the beginning of this week, RBS’ head of mortgages Moray McDonald said the brand aimed to be a key player in the UK mortgage market.
McDonald said he wanted to see RBS’ share of mortgage lending increase to the mid-teens and that it had ”the funding and the balance sheet to lend more”.
London & Country Mortgages associate director of communications David Hollingworth says it comes as a surprise and he doesn’t see the immediate need to have multiple brands.
He says: ”It will be interesting to see what it’s going to do andI would say what do they need to do as they are already hitting the right notes with the NatWest brand.
”NatWest Intermediary Solutions is doing really good stuff at the moment and is definitely hitting the right tone in terms product pricing.”
But Trinity Financial product and communications manager Aaron Strutt argues that it would be a positive step for intermediaries, especially if the other brands were brought back as “it was a bit of shock to lose access to them in the first place”.
He says: ”If RBS do want to ramp up its lending it would seem like a sensible move as NatWest can’t do everything.”