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John Charcol brokers in HSBC branch trial

John Charcol is to go where no mortgage broker has gone before and receive proc fees for offering HSBC mortgages.

HSBC announced last week that it would be introducing John Charcol advisers into 20 of its branches as part of a seven-month pilot scheme.

Borrowers will be given the choice of seeing an HSBC adviser for free or paying £150 to speak to a whole of market adviser.

The Association of Mortgage Intermediaries supports the Mortgage Matcher scheme, despite it causing anger among some brokers.

The trade body says this should be seen as a positive step and John Charcol should be commended for its initiative.

Robert Sinclair, director at the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries, says: “The broking world is divided on this development but it’s good to see brokers showing initiative and it’s good news that a lender with a competitive range of mortgages has recognised the importance of brokers.

“We wish John Charcol the best of luck with this trial.”

But some brokers question the lender’s motives.

Ketan Yadav, mortgage consultant at Avenue & Co Private Finance, says: “It’s the end of broking as we know it. HSBC has the money, the distribution and the power to get customers into its branches and cross-sell accordingly.”

But David Hollingworth, mortgage specialist at London & Country, says: “HSBC can obviously see the potential of brokers. If the pilot works this scheme could be offered to the wider broker market.”

A spokesman for HSBC says it is too early to say what will happen after the trial.

He says: “We are not likely to change our proposition concerning brokers but it’s hard to predict what will happen at the end of the trial.”


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(Another) downhill stroll — retirement planning

A report published this morning by the CIPD (CIPD Employee Outlook March 2015) provides yet more interesting data to the changing landscape of retirement planning. It should be remembered that we are in a period of genuine flux here given that the default retirement age was scrapped three years ago, and new pension freedoms come online in April. Both of these alterations will have a huge impact on how employees plan for their retirement.


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