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Abbey Nat urged to take fight to HBOs

Leading mortgage brokers have thrown down the gauntlet to Abbey National, challenging it to get its act together, saying the lack of competition faced by market leader HBOS is unhealthy.

Brokers have voiced their concerns over HBOS&#39s market dominance, saying it is important for the industry that Abbey wins back their approval and market share to provide significant competition.

Latest figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders show that HBOS has 26 per cent of the market, a long way ahead of Abbey in second place with just 10.4 per cent.

Brokers say Abbey, with its traditional heavyweight status, should be eating into HBOS&#39s market.

Abbey chief executive Luqman Arnold has promised to take Abbey back to basics and concentrate on what it does best – personal financial services, particularly mortgages.

Savills Private Finance managing director Mark Harris says: “We are all watching Abbey as it has made a bold statement of intent. It has made the initial steps towards recovery but there is some way to go yet. Healthy competition is necessary and it is important to the industry that Abbey has a strong offering.”

Hamptons International Mortgages managing director Kevin Duffy says: “Abbey will have to do better. It has a significant high-street presence and an established relationship with intermediaries so it is not starting out from scratch. Much of its problem is image. Intermediaries are very short-termist over which lenders they use and Abbey must fight to win back their approval.”

Abbey National for Intermediaries head of communication Christine McAllister says: “We accept that competition is necessary and we are approaching this on three fronts – technology, service and products. Abbey National is providing a real challenge to all players in the market, not just HBOS.”


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Double hit for Xmas as L&G fund charge to rise by 50%

Legal & General is set to hit investors in its £1bn fixed-interest fund with a double whammy this December when it hikes its income-deducted annual management charge by 50 per cent. It is warning IFAs it is raising the charge to 0.75 per cent from 0.5 per cent in a bid to cover the cost […]

Scottish Widows – Corporate Bond Assurance/Pension Fund

Type: Unit-linked fund Aim: Growth by investing in the Scottish Widows corporate bond fund Minimum investment: Lump sum £5,000 via life products, £20 via pension products Investment split: 100% in UK and European corporate bonds Charges: Annual 1% Commission: Subject to negotiation Tel: 0845 843 2222

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Harris Associates' view on the UK’s vote to leave the EU

By David Herro, Partner, Deputy Chairman, Portfolio Manager and Chief Investment Officer of International Equity at Harris Associates Britain’s vote to exit the European Union has led to significant uncertainty across global markets. We believe market impact of this uncertainty, though severe, is more of a shorter-term phenomenon which will provide an opportunity for long-term […]


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