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A close rung thing

It will be a pressured year for mortgage brokers because regulatory changes will pile on the workload and costs.

The economic outlook is favourable as we believe low interest rates and low unemployment will be sustained well into 2004. Mortgageforce predicts that house price inflation will be between 7 and 10 cent. HBOS suggests that the North, Scotland and Wales will see the highest levels of price inflation and we agree.

Brokers will fight for market share as young buyers continue to face difficulties getting on the housing ladder. This will not just be in the South-east and London but nationally. Buying with friends, guarantor schemes and shared ownership will be increasingly called upon to bridge the affordability gap.

Discounted deals and some tracker deals will offer the best value in the first half of next year. Fixed rates will be selected by those seeking payment certainty but will not be the product of choice for the mass market due to current and likely pricing.


Nationwide International – 2 Year Fixed Rate Bond

Two-Year Fixed-Rate Bond Type: High-interest account Minimum-maximum investment: £1,000-£1m Fixed term: Two years Fixed rate: 4.7% gross a year, 4.6% gross a month Withdrawal penalties: No withdrawals permitted during term Tel: 01624 696 000

ABI sets out its stance on savings

We were puzzled to read Mick McAteer&#39s article (Money Marketing, December 4).As he knows, the proposal for standardised savings products, with a simpler sales regime and low charges, was put forward by Ron Sandler in his report of July 2002. Since then, the insurance industry has been working closely with the Government and the FSA […]

Christows put ETFs in funds of funds

Christows has converted three offshore funds of investment trusts to onshore funds of funds that invest mainly in exchange traded funds (ETFs). David Franklin managed the three offshore funds and will now run the onshore funds, which are aimed at the IFA market. As well as ETFs, Franklin will also hold investment funds and quoted […]

Wait before recommending Standard says Wentworth Rose

IFAs should not recommend putting clients into Standard Life with-profits products until the issue of the FSA investigation into its financial strength calculations has been resolved, says Wentworth Rose managing director Philip Rose. Rose says IFAs should beware a repeat of the Equitable Life situation where clients continued to go into the life office after […]


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