United Group warns brokers about HIPs

The United Group, owners of eConveyancer and United Surveyors, is encouraging mortgage brokers to start making plans for the launch of Home Information Packs, which will be trialled in the UK in June next year prior to a full launch in 2007.

Alan Dring, sales director at United Group, says: Its easy for brokers to dismiss HIPS at the moment, as they will not be rolled out nationwide until 2007. However, that would be a great mistake. HIPS represent both a threat and an opportunity for mortgage brokers, who need to ensure they have the ability to capitalise on the commercial opportunities they will generate.

Concern has been expressed that brokers could be sidelined by HIP providers, who could offer clients a mortgage proposition at the time of arranging a HIP. The Association of Mortgage Intermediaries has, for example, recently urged mortgage brokers to seriously consider how they will prepare their business for HIP implementation. With many firms focussed squarely on FSA regulation, it has warned firms to monitor the HIP plans just as closely.

Dring adds: I know from anecdotal feedback from brokers that HIPS are not yet on their radar screens. When I ask why not they tell me its because they do not yet know enough about the range of HIPS services which will be available to them. We will be providing a comprehensive HIPS solution which brokers will be able to sell to their clients. We will be announcing full details during the first part of 2006, but I encourage brokers to start thinking in strategic terms about the ways in which they can build a HIPS service into their current proposition, as soon as possible.

A number of companies have already announced their intention to become HIPS providers, but few have the technical expertise to guarantee success. The United Group believes that its pedigree and technical expertise developed via eConveyancer already puts it one step ahead of most of its competitors.

The United Group launched eConveyancer in 2003 and currently has a user base of more than 9,500 intermediaries throughout the UK. eConveyancer enables intermediaries to select, instruct and track the activities of conveyancers on behalf of their clients.