Despite recent concerns that the packaging market is set to shrink post-2004, packagers remain optimistic about their future, according to a survey conducted by Mortgages plc, writes Paul Robertson.
When asked how they saw the long-term future of the industry, five years and beyond, 41% saw major industry growth, with a further 43% seeing stable conditions or minor growth. Only 2% believed that packaging would disappear altogether.
Julian Wells, marketing manager at Mortgages plc, said: ‘It goes to show that for all the high profile discussion about regulation in the industry, the role of the packager is still a valid one. Packagers see a bright future but the challenge is to find how they best fit into a regulated market.’
On regulation itself packagers were by no means unanimous. A third thought they should be regulated alongside lenders and brokers. Reasons cited for regulation ranged from the amount of advice given to brokers that affected their mortgage recommendation to the confidence it would give to lenders to know their packagers were held to a code.
In the nearer term, with non-standard and sub-prime business making up 82% of respondents’ business, packagers were asked how much sub-prime business they anticipated in the next 12 months. Almost 70% said they expected to do more than £11m worth, and 27% anticipated over £41m.
Wells said: ‘Packagers have grown up around the sub-prime market and the survey reflects the benefits that packagers are feeling. The sub-prime market seems to go from strength to strength, with a lot more lenders looking to get involved in the sector.’
• For more details of the survey please see the Packaging Directory, produced in association with Mortgages plc, which is included in this issue.