The real broker-killers

Last week\'s news that HSBC is running a pilot programme with London brokerage John Charcol to offer whole of market advice in its branches made a big impact on the market.

HSBC has never given brokers access to its products before so what caused this partial change of heart? Has it finally seen the light and realised that using brokers is a good way of providing impartial advice to customers? Well, maybe the jury’s out on that.

But for some time, brokers’ biggest problem has been competing with the products churned out by HSBC. In fact, its latest sub-3% mortgage is often referred to as a broker-killer.

But it could be argued that HSBC has played a valuable role in spurring lenders that deal with brokers to make their product ranges more competitive.

Many brokers have been outraged by the move and seen John Charcol’s deal as akin to a pact with the devil but the brokerage should be applauded for convincing the corporate giant to finally break bread with brokers. And hopefully the fact that a small pool of brokers is being given access to HSBC’s arsenal will encourage other lenders to go head to head with HSBC.

But never mind HSBC and the credit crunch, the real broker-killers in the market at the moment are the networks that are allegedly failing to pass on brokers’ commission payments in a timely manner.

Recently, there have been a number of stories about networks allegedly failing to pay their appointed representatives monies on time and with talk that some have had to close because of this should come as no surprise. It is important that any networks experiencing such delays should attempt to rectify the situation as quickly as possible.