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Advisers must not leave mainstream mortgage market to lenders – Hunt

by: Bob Hunt, chief executive of Paradigm Mortgage Services
  • 28/01/2019
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Advisers must not leave mainstream mortgage market to lenders – Hunt
Before Christmas, I heard Robert Sinclair, chief executive of the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries (AMI), talking about the direction the intermediary market is heading in.


His focus was on how prime borrowers of the future might be serviced automatically via mainstream lenders, with advisers potentially becoming more specialist operators in areas such as complex borrowing, later life lending, mortgages for the self-employed and the like.

Certainly, one would think the major lenders might welcome such a move.

However, my view tends to be that advisers will still play a major role in the mainstream market, simply because of clients’ wants and needs around advice, and the focus on ensuring they are getting the best deal.

Even if lender technology becomes slicker – and it’s certainly heading that way – and their product transfer processes are top of the range, there’s still no reason why advisers should not be involved.

Indeed, the very limited amount of product transfer data we’ve had to date through UK Finance shows that intermediaries take the majority share of that business.

Why shouldn’t this continue in the future?


Do not dismiss it

Of course, advisers are going to want to ensure they have the right service offering across all those specialist sectors, and it may well be that more advisers begin to do the majority of their business in that market.

However, it’s important we do not simply dismiss the mainstream sector as moving towards lenders, and that there’s nothing we can do about it.

For a start, we can see at the start of 2019 that the competition within the mainstream market is significant.

Just in the past few weeks we have seen a number of lenders cutting rates – HSBC, NatWest, Barclays, Platform to name but a few – and it’s obvious there is a major battle being fought among lenders to secure much-coveted prime borrowers.


Healthy lending appetite

Given current uncertainty, there’s no denying that more and more borrowers might be looking to remortgage now and secure a longer-term fixed-rate that might take them (hopefully) past any economic upheaval, although not one of us will be able to tell a client just how long that might last.

The good news is that lenders are showing a very healthy appetite to lend presently – perhaps themselves slightly concerned about how business might unfold in the months ahead.

The highly competitive nature of the mortgage market at present, coupled with a strong appetite to lend in these sectors, should really be shouted from the rooftops.

Make sure you take the opportunity to tell new and potential clients alike, that now is the time to look at the deals available, and now, as always, is the right time to use your services.




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