For those of us who have weathered the storm, the future is looking much brighter.
I won’t dwell on the obvious positive effect of the return of the mutual sector for its sensible human underwriting counterpoint to the ‘computer says no’ negativity of the primary residential lenders. Or even the launch of new specialist lenders, all of which have been particularly positive.
But for me, and for the 10,000 intermediaries left out of the 40,000 in 2008, opportunities to build for the future are beginning to beckon. Having read a recent article by LSL Property Services’ David Copland on the need for lenders and brokers to work together in the wake of MMR, I would definitely concur with his premise that lenders and brokers have an opportunity to build closer ties.
MMR is a real game changer for many lenders, particularly those whose attitude to the intermediary market has been ambivalent, by running their own in-house sales and using the intermediary as a top up facility to be turned on and off at will to meet target.
There is now a clear choice to be made between taking on the costs of providing and being responsible for advice or working more closely with brokers to provide that service for clients. David argues that paying brokers to provide advice on retention products and the payment of initial and trail commission would be more beneficial for all concerned.
I would add that brokers are much better placed to get a full picture of a client’s circumstances and net worth, which, particularly in the specialist field is critical to lenders.
Forging stronger relationships with brokers and distributors would provide a full understanding of the client’s situation, enabling distributors like us to provide full documentation to lenders which has a knock on effect on turnaround times and service.
Ian Balfour is CEO of Solent Mortgage Services