Downturn has made brokers more professional

One of the silver linings of the financial crisis is that mortgage brokers have become more professional, says Richard Tugwell, head of national sales at Northern Rock.

Speaking at the Council of Mortgage Lenders conference this morning, he told delegates that intermediary standards have improved.

He says: “One of the silver linings of the financial crisis is that brokers have become more consumer centric and are treating borrowers as clients they can service again.”

He says customers have become less forthcoming and because of this brokers have improved their standards.

Ian Andrew, head of intermediary sales at Nationwide also told delegates: “There has been a cleansing process and the intermediary market has contracted, but the quality of brokers has increased.”

David Finlay, intermediary sales director at Barclays, says he believes the growth in the market will be led by brokers,

Tugwell also believes that growth in the mortgage market will be led by brokers.

But he says: “The only thing that could stop brokers leading the growth would be if new entrants enter the market who only sell direct deals, but I don’t anticipate that happening anytime soon.”

Also speaking on the panel was Granville Turner, chief executive officer of Countrywide, he says a problem the market is facing is the inability of lenders to innovate.

He called for lenders to look at ways to make mortgages more affordable for first-time buyers.