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This will be the year of the distributor

A little over a week into 2007 and already the doomsayers are out in force. If you believe what you read in some of the popular financial press interest rates are due to rise at the next meeting of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee.

The reason? Just one of the latest fail-safe predictors comes from the government’s own Office for National Statistics. Company profits, it says, are rising to an all-time high, creating more wealth and increasing inflationary pressures on the UK economy. And if that were not enough for the rate hawks to ponder, confidence in the service sector is apparently better than at any time since Labour came to power.

Should we believe it? Add to the mix that mortgage borrowing is at a three-year high and you soon realise why some headline-grabbing pseudo-economists are having a field day.

A new year always brings predictions but if Mortgage Strategy was to hazard a guess, we would more than likely agree with Dev Malle’s sentiments. Writing in his new weekly column, Personal Touch’s director of mortgage distribution predicts interest rates to end the year at 5% and house prices in general to have risen about the same.

You’ll find Malle’s comments along with all your industry favourites including Jonathan Cornell and David Hollingworth as well as consumer champions Isabelle Kassam and Rosemary Gallagher in our analysis section starting on page 23.

If 2006 was the year of the new lender then 2007 will be the year of the distributor. Our cover story starting on page 40 explores the harmony, or perhaps lack of it, that has been created since the launch of Concordia in November last year.

Distribution in the UK mortgage market is still the key to success in business to business terms but also when it comes to selling direct to consumers.

Time will tell whether or not this collaboration of London’s so-called top five directly authorised brokers will deliver the anticipated results.

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