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Your Views: The dangers of merging the CML into a mega-trade body


Mega-trade body: if it ain’t broke, why fix it?

The news that a majority (75 per cent) of CML members had voted to back a merger that will see the trade body subsumed into a ‘mega-trade body’ was met with some trepidation in the offices of Fleet Mortgages.

I will be completely honest and say that I have some concerns about this move and am worried it is an attempt by the larger lenders to save on trade body membership fees rather than being led by any strongly held ideals to create a more representative body for mortgage lenders.

In my opinion the CML is currently working at the top of its game and, certainly under the guidance of Paul Smee, has done an incredible job in terms of lobbying, research and membership activity. I cannot help worrying and fear that the past 20 years of the CML’s legacy are being destroyed for the wrong reasons – if it ain’t broke, why fix it?

This may seem like a lender-centric issue but in my opinion it affects the entire mortgage industry. Close co-operation between lender and adviser trade bodies is vital given their co-dependence and it is a relationship we should want to strengthen in order to develop the intermediary market.

Will we be able to do this if ‘mortgages’ becomes just another department within a larger trade body that may choose to prioritise and resource in other areas?

What about the valuable research, the training and the political and regulatory dialogue that the CML delivers for its members and all other stakeholders? Are we in danger of diluting this at a time when a quality mortgage-focused trade body has never been so needed?

The major lenders may see monetary benefits in this move but I suspect other lenders, and all those we work with, may ultimately lose out from a shift away from a mortgage-only focus. I fear a move to mega may not prove mega for most of us.
Bob Young, Fleet Mortgages

Q2 is set to excite and challenge us, just like Q1

For many intermediaries Easter was not the restful period of times gone by. In fact, its timing was symptomatic of a hectic period in the mortgage calendar.

However, we are now on the other side and, dare I say it, the waters look relatively calm. On reflection, the Budget brought little change within the mortgage market; the buy-to-let ‘stampede’ is behind us; the implementation of the MCD is firmly in place; and, despite question marks over our EU status, there could, just could, be a period of relatively plain sailing ahead for lenders and the intermediary community.

Not that this means it will be quiet. Activity within the housing market continues at a strong pace and, with a spring/early summer accelerant in the air, this is likely to keep us all on our toes and awash with a wealth of opportunities.

Market fundamentals underpinning the recovery remain fairly robust thanks to real wage growth and falling unemployment. The latest gross lending figures from the CML show yet more positive signs, with February demonstrating the highest lending total for any February since 2008.

Competition remains resilient within the mainstream and specialist mortgage markets and has been further buoyed by the pickup in remortgage activity.

Clearly the remortgage market is a key component in maintaining lending momentum. And, with many signs pointing in the right direction, I expect Q2 2016 to be an exciting, if still challenging, period.

But then again, what do you expect from the modern mortgage marketplace? Peace and quiet?

Jackie Uhi, Barclays

Both sides in EU debate use questionable tactics

In reaction to George Osborne’s claim that leaving the EU would cause mortgage rates to rise, these scare tactics may backfire on the Remain supporters because most lenders source their funds within the UK. There seems to be no substance to these pronouncements.
John Lacy

I am ambivalent about the EU but tend towards staying as I do not like much of the jingoism from Brexit proponents. As with the Scottish referendum, however, I object to waves of propaganda and, in some cases, disinformation being sprayed around. As John Lacey says, it may backfire because voters do not like being intimidated in this way.
Stuart Duncan



Your Views: The biggest business threat is broker apathy

The biggest business threat is broker apathy It amazes me when brokers talk about the threats impacting their businesses and always cite the usual suspects: comparison websites offering consumers a quick and easy way of sourcing financial products (regardless of whether such products are appropriate); extra regulation, meaning more bureaucracy; and lenders not responding to […]


Your Views: Discounted products continue to appeal

Discounted products continue to appeal Last month I wrote a piece about not ignoring competitive discounts when researching products. I still believe this is something advisers should become more comfortable with, rather than recommending just a tracker, or even a fixed-rate product. By the start of March we had seen shifts of 2 per cent […]


Your Views: Protection is not only for the man of the house

Protection is not only for the man of the house Tuesday 8 March was International Women’s Day – an opportunity to promote gender equality in all walks of life. In our own market there has been considerable progress in this area but, unfortunately, we are not at a point of total gender equality; indeed, in […]

Life after the CML

By Roy Armitage, head of credit at LendInvest Last month saw three-quarters of the membership of the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) vote in favour of plans to create a super-trade body, which would see the CML merge with the likes of the British Bankers’ Association and Payments UK. There is little room for misty-eyed […]


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