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No wonder clients prefer brokers to direct-only lenders

’Nine out of 10 consumers would rather use brokers than go through the mortgage process on their own’ should be the follow-up to’s recent pronouncement.

The website will clearly do anything to draw attention to itself. Consumers don’t realise advertisers have to pay to be on it and that many products don’t appear. They should also know that independent brokers now have access to direct-only deals and will advise on both.

There’s no doubt that more lenders are now distributing direct-only and dual pricing, but primarily on first-time buyer rates.

Direct-only lenders will have to compete on price and rates to get into best buy tables. This will erode profit margins but be good for consumers.
With all the negative press over lenders’ advice is it any wonder that consumers prefer to use independent advisers?

We are seeing increasing levels of enquiries and more exclusive products from lenders than at any time in the past two years because not everyone qualifies for an HSBC loan at 3.5 x income.

Many lenders have reverted to using brokers recently and those that choose to ignore such a powerful distribution channel do so at their peril – they risk losing even more market share. Long live brokers.

Ketan Yadav

Avenue & Co Private Finance


Uinsure cuts premiums as RSA joins its panel

Uinsure has appointed RSA to its panel and cut its premiums in response to feedback from advisers. To achieve this it has reduced the commission it pays to brokers to 27.5% from 30%.


Drop lock will calm borrowers’ nerves

The cornerstone of any economic recovery is confidence, which is why it’s worrying to see the quarterly consumer confidence survey from the British Retail Consortium showing its first fall since April 2009. It’s difficult to know the depth of such a survey but when trying to build consumer certainty any negative news can be damaging. […]

Strong dollar can be a powerful driver of UK dividend growth in 2015

By Robin Geffen, fund manager and CEO 

This year threatens to be a challenging one for UK dividend hunters. Last year saw an all-time record amount paid out in UK dividends — some £97.4bn, according to research from Capita Dividend Monitor. Yet as Capita also pointed out, out the biggest single factor driving the growth in the fourth quarter of last year was easy to identify: the rising US dollar. 

In our view, this trend is much more than simply a one-quarter phenomenon. It is actually the most profound issue to get right as a UK equity income investor in 2015. We believe that the US dollar will continue to strengthen significantly from its current level. This is due more to the US economy’s demonstrable de-coupling from the rest of the world than to a view on the UK. The US has a strong chance of tightening monetary conditions this year without jeopardising growth or de-stabilising its housing market. The same can unfortunately not be said about the UK.


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