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High-street lenders should stop dealing direct with consumers, says Morris PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 17 September 2015

Those high-street lenders currently offering direct to consumer mortgage propositions should cease, according to Roger Morris of Precise Mortgages, who was taking part in a panel debate at today’s Financial Services Expo (FSE) London in Old Billingsgate,

“All high-street lenders should pull out of dealing with the customer direct and that money should be put into dealing with the intermediary market,” said Morris. “I also believe that procuration fees should be a minimum of 0.6%, in fact they should actually be more than this.”

In a discussion on procuration fees, other members of the panel felt they were currently at the right level however there could be some movement upwards. “Our procuration fees are always under review,” said Louisa Sedgwick of Leeds Building Society. “I think there may be more parity between the fee paid to ARs and DAs. More lenders might start to pay the same across the board.”

While Ian Andrew of Nationwide Building Society felt there wouldn’t be any “significant movement” on proc fee levels for the foreseeable future.

On the issue of regulation for ‘consumer buy-to-let’ mortgages – which will be introduced via the Mortgage Credit Directive in March next year - the panel felt there were no major issues as long as advisers secured authorisation.

“We believe about 10% of our existing buy-to-let customers will be ‘consumer BTL’ customers,” said Nationwide’s Andrew. “The important thing is that intermediaries get on the register as soon as possible so we’re able to deal with them.”

Sedgwick confirmed that the Leeds would be “playing in that space”.

Andrew also felt that the MCD was “MMR-lite” in terms of its potential impact on the marketplace. “I think there will be minimal disruption,” he said.

In terms of advice for intermediaries to make the most out of the current market, Pat Bunton of London & Country said: “Keep customers at the heart of everything you do. It’s also important that you invest in technology. Also understand that consumers want to deal with firms in many different ways – we are open 8 until 8, six and a half days a week and therefore adviser availability is very important.”

Sedgwick urged advisers to look beyond the mortgage market’s perceived big boys. She said: “It would be nice to see advisers switch their reliance away from the top three lenders. There is a lot of choice out there, especially from the building societies. It’s also important advisers effectively re-manage their remortgage client bank.”

FSE London is taking place today at Old Billingsgate in the heart of London’s Square Mile. Alongside the seminar sessions it will offer delegates access to a range of lenders, providers and distributors actively looking to build relationships with the adviser community. Over 70 exhibitors will appear including lenders such as Accord, Lloyds Banking Group, Halifax Intermediaries, Santander for Intermediaries, Skipton Building Society, Virgin Money, and many more.


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