Brokers must play by lender rules or face removal from panels – Star Letter 21/02/2020

Brokers must play by lender rules or face removal from panels – Star Letter 21/02/2020


The first comment was in response to the article: Advisers must question bans on ‘risky’ business or lose clients – JLM 

Robert Welsh said: “I’m afraid it’s not in the hands of the broker. The lenders hold all the cards. 

“It’s very reminiscent of the old Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels ‘in fact you’re going to have to try very hard just to stay alive, Nick’ scene.” 

He added: “If they don’t have the appetite for this risk debt consolidation cases you are submitting – they will remove you from panel. If they are not happy with your fee structure – they will remove you from panel. If you opt out of free legals due to horrendous service from conveyancers being used – they will remove you from panel. 

“In fact, you’re going to have to try very hard to stay in business, Nick.” 


Restrictive advice is failing equity release clients

Another article which got a reaction was: Age UK ends controversial equity release advice partnership with Just 

Andy Wilson said: “How many times do we have to shout out that equity release customers need advice from the whole of the market, and not in any way linked to just one lender? It can never be a ‘one size fits all’ option. 

“I am a ‘preferred trader’ equity release adviser for Age UK. Nothing much comes from it and it is clear to see why. I would be happy to enter into a commercial arrangement with my local Age UK team to generate income for them on any plans arranged from referrals, and all advice would be from a genuinely whole of market analysis. I had a discussion with them some time ago about this and it was quickly dismissed.” 

“I am not sure why such a large national organisation who help and support potentially vulnerable later life seniors could not see earlier that restrictive advice to their customers is plainly wrong – although clearly the message has now got through,” he added. 


Leaseholder rights

The next article which saw a reader reaction was: Homeowners to be given powers to contest estate fees 

Arron Bardoe said: “The rules should retrospectively cancel all ground rents that double and cap them at inflation. There is no sense in doubling every 10 years other than for the freeholds to be sold to investors. 

“This practice was immoral and such investor should not be allowed to profit. I suspect many will rush to offer leaseholders the chance to buy their freehold were such legislation to be proposed.” 

He added: “When considering transparency of the service charge, it will be interesting for some councils that have been undertaking large-scale work on ex-council flats where a large proportion have been sold under right to buy.  

“Some have not been offering transparency on the need for the work or the procurement process, so private owners end up footing the bill.” 

“Notwithstanding, the opportunity of revising legislation should ensure fairness is offered to both sides. While there are unscrupulous freeholders, there are also unscrupulous leaseholders,” Bardoe said. 

He added: “Some leaseholders fail to pay reasonable service charges and ground rents meaning either important work is not undertaken, or the other leaseholders incur the cost – a freeholder receiving £100 pa is hardly going to pay. At present, forfeiting a lease is difficult and the proposed changes could make it impossible.” 


Tech-fearing brokers need to ‘get with the programme’

Finally, an adviser’s decision to see how a virtual reality headset would fit into his work life sparked conversation: Broker uses virtual reality to complete mortgage application 

Gerry Anderson said: “We need to look beyond two monitors, a wireless keyboard and mouse. These are almost in the old hat category and will soon be superceded.  

“Constant innovation is the way to keep up, if not move ahead. The tech adverse need to get with the programme or will be left behind.” 

“Virtual reality is one way and there will be many more. This sort of ostrich with its head in the sand comment is backward thinking, not forward progress. Well done to Christopher for being a leading light to the future,” he added.