Steve Biggs, managing director of APH Financial Management Services, said there are two reasons why Virgin Money should do well:
“First, they have confirmed that they are going to carry on engaging with the intermediary market place which is great news for us.
“Secondly, I’m excited to see a traditional bank shaken up by Richard Branson and see what it comes up with.”
He added that the mortgage relaunch under the Virgin Money brand is a positive move and will eliminate any negativity still surrounding the Northern Rock brand.
“The Virgin empire already has a good name for itself so the public will be more open to the Virgin Money branding.”
Ben Larkin, director of Simply Finance agreed that Virgin Money will be one of the more influential new mortgage lenders of 2012.
He said: “They’ve already outlined their pledges to brokers and that’s given us the reassurance we need.”
He added: “I think the capacity for ING Direct this year could be big too. They’ve positioned their rates high at the moment and are not expected to increase their rates in line with everyone else at this moment in time. They’ve also rolled themselves out to more networks over the past few months and now distribute through L&G, Openwork, PTFS and Sesame.”
Biggs said that he remains undecided over the impact that Tesco Bank could have on the market.
Tesco Bank’s chief executive, Benny Higgins, has suggested that its long-anticipated launch into the mortgage market will happen by as early as April this year.
Biggs said: “The problem is that Tesco hasn’t said whether they will be dealing with intermediaries or not. It’s because we haven’t heard much from them that one assumes they will be doing direct-only lending.
“I’m hoping more supermarkets will follow suit and launch into the mortgage market but with a focus on intermediary distribution.”
However not all Mortgage Solutions readers agree. In the latest Mortgage Solutions poll, 41% of respondents cited Castle Trust as the residential mortgage lender-in-waiting likely to have the most impact on the market, while 32% said Home & Savings Bank. An additional 20% of respondents cited Virgin Money, 6% said Tesco Bank and 1% cited “other.”