Abbey National group chief exec-utive, Luqman Arnold, has stressed the importance of intermediaries to the bank’s strategy, despite its commitment to the channel being described as a sham by one mortgage broker.
Earlier this month, mortgage broker, Homebank, threw off Abbey its panel of lenders for cross-selling, and managing director, George Dodds, said: “I have to conclude that Abbey’s commitment to the intermediary market is little more than a sham.”
In a prepared statement, Abbey replied: “We will investigate the claims made by Homebank, but are at a loss to understand where the allegations of cross-selling come from.’ Arnold went on to say in Abbey’s 2002 full year pre-close statement, its ongoing review aimed to: ‘Deliver outstanding service advice and solutions to our personal and intermediary clients.’
However, a spokesman for Homebank hit back. He said: ‘Abbey’s chief executive should look at his business carefully before making himself a hostage to fortune. The fact his company are selling non-regulated insurance products to our clients and the clients of the intermediaries he purports to support, does not strike me as consistent.”
Also in the pre-closure statement, Abbey said it expects to cut its present dividend level. It said its gross mortgage lending was running at around 40% ahead of the first half of the year, and expected to announce an improved market share for the second half of the year.