Glasgow-based packager, Opus Mortgages, has become the first in the UK to offer mortgage intermediaries access to a guaranteed commission payment scheme. The Intermediary Guarantee Scheme (IGS), developed by Opus over the past six months, pays out all commission payments due to intermediaries by telegraphic transfer through the offices of solicitors Goldsmith Williams.
Lockhart Bruce, finance and marketing director at Opus Mortgages, said: ‘This is something we have been looking at for a while, but recently we have seen broker comments in the press about not getting paid and about companies going bust leaving brokers unpaid. We had been looking at telegraphic transfer for speed, mainly as a marketing tool to be honest. We wanted one of the fastest payouts in the market, and then we found we could guarantee it with Goldsmith Williams.’
Initially, IGS will be available to advisers who sell Opus’s new range of specialist Open Door adverse re-mortgages, funded by Mortgages plc. Bruce said: ‘We want to expand the guarantee and intend to extend it out to the rest of our ranges. This is a pilot to make sure that it works well, and we wanted to release it alongside new products to the market.’ At present, payment goes directly from Mortgage plc to the solicitors, but Opus admit that this may not always be the case as the scheme rolls out and a bond may be necessary.
Bruce added: ‘We believe all companies that work with intermediaries should be in a position to offer a guarantee about the payment of commissions.’
Commenting, Andy Wilgoss, managing director of Square Mile Mortgages, said: ‘This is both a good bit of PR and an element of protection for small brokers who may be reliant on packagers for access to products. The peace of mind of being paid, irrespective of what happens to the lender, can only be a good thing. All things being equal it could make some brokers consider using one provider over another.’