Brokers have slammed Royal Bank of Scotland’s plan to increase its mortgage market share through doubling the size of its branch advice team.
The lender has confirmed it will boost its in-house adviser force from 400 to 800 over the coming months as it seeks to achieve a 20 per cent share of the UK mortgage market. In the first quarter of this year RBS had an 9.5 per cent share of gross mortgage lending in the UK.
However, brokers have labelled the move “absurd” and one that goes against market trends, which have seen lenders increasingly turn to the intermediary channel following the mortgage market review.
Start Financial Services manager Tom Cleary says: “I cannot understand the thinking behind this. It’s beyond absurd and not even cost-effective. The MMR has given us the landscape we have to work in, and transactions require more information and knowledge of the regulations. Everything is going to have go through brokers, but then you’ve got RBS who want to boost their market share by going the other way. It is really bizarre.”
Neil Sound Financial Services managing director Neil Sound agrees. He says: “This will make no difference whatsoever to RBS’s market share. My experience of its in-house advisers has been less than exem-plary, and that was before the MMR.
“Cients need proper financial advice and this is not something RBS has quite understood.”
A spokesman for NatWest Intermediary Solutions says: “This announcement is related to the retail in-house adviser team but does not affect Natwest Intermediary Solutions. We are still recruiting on our side so from both channels we are pushing forward.”