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A&L flexing fees to boost advisers

Alliance & Leicester is keen to invigorate its relationship with mortgage intermediaries by introducing flexible features and systems in the coming months.

Head of intermediary sales Mehrdad Yousefi told Money Marketing that its strategies include more flexible fee features for customers.

The bank is introducing a system where a customer will be able to choose from three options. The first option is for the client to benefit from a good headline rate on A&L’s two standard products but paying a product fee and valuation. The product is headline-driven and has no cashback option.

The second choice is for a client to save on the product fee and the valuation is refunded on completion, with cashback available but a less attractive rate than the first option.

The third option is on two-year discount and two-year fixed products where there will be no product fee but there are also no other incentives.

This range will be introduced at the end of this week.

Another issue that Yousefi has been considering is the key facts illustration. He would like to show total payments due in the life of the mortgage to help make it clear to customers the total commitment that they will be making. Yousefi would also like to see monthly risk as opposed to annual risk to be shown for its fixed-rate mortgages.

Within the next year to 18 months, A&L is aiming to be more innovative with its online case tracking. The bank is also working towards making offers online independent of a valuation.

In an attempt to service time-poor intermediaries, A&L is also looking at how it can create a secure online environment to make intermediaries happy to send information online and receive acknowledgments online. A&L is also looking at the possibility of text messaging updates to intermediaries, although Yousefi says this would have to be carefully piloted first.

Yousefi says: “Our target is to increase intermediary business significantly in 2005. We firmly believe in self-servicing. Ultimately, people are cash-rich and time-poor. It is still a large market compared with four years ago.”

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