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King & Co must pull their finger out or else

Another week at the coal face. Actually I’ve had a couple of days off recently so I’m feeling more chilled than I did a few days ago. Everything is ticking along pretty much as it has all year and sad to say it’s all quiet on the broker front.

This is surprising as we recently witnessed the most important pre-Budget report for many a year.

It should have provided a kick-start to the mortgage industry but the PBR instead was dominated by arguments over VAT and the potential tax increases we all face in the years to come as a result of its largesse.

In my opinion, taking a slice off VAT won’t encourage lenders to start lending again, which is what we need. If members of the public extra pounds in their pockets in the run-up to Christmas I’m sure that’s where they’ll stay.

Maybe bringing back MIRAS would have had more impact from the property market’s perspective, although not a big one.

It too would have failed to encourage lenders to open the purse strings.

It was good to hear Bank of England governor Mervyn King (pictured) say that unless lending returns action will have to be taken.

Given the public money that banks have benefited from, they should be passing it back to meet clients’ needs.

I was watching a news story the other day about the situation. It talked about the knock-on effects the slump in house building is having on the economy.

The report mentioned that builders were making job cuts and this was having a ripple effect, with swathes of ancillary workers also under threat.

Plumbers, electricians, surveyors, estate agents, bank staff and lenders were mentioned but brokers weren’t.

We are the forgotten victims of this recession. I get the feeling that the wider world either doesn’t know we exist or doesn’t care.

Outside the pages of the trade press, I’ve yet to hear anyone discuss how badly brokers have been hit by the credit crunch or analyse how many of our number have given up, let alone offer any sympathy.

Clients believe things should be improving, especially considering the huge sums of government cash that have been handed over.

But until King et al pull their fingers out and make lenders lend again, the market will remain in limbo.

And for many of us, limbo is a place we can’t afford to stay in much longer.


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