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Don’t price out the brokers

Last month, Money Marketing ran an open letter from seven of the biggest mortgage distributors, calling on brokers to understand and make allowances for the strain being placed on lenders by current market conditions.

The letter said lenders were not acting irresponsibly by pulling products at short notice but were looking after their own liquidity positions as consumers rushed to claim the best deals. It went as far as suggesting in certain situations it understood a lender’s need to promote deals more cheaply in branch networks.

But it appears that some lenders are now trying to take advantage of the goodwill and good intentions. This week, we reveal the startling differences starting to surface in rates available on direct business compared with through a broker.

Big names such as Cheltenham & Gloucester, Abbey and Halifax are all offering inflated rates on lending through brokers. Others simply are not offering business through intermediaries.

These moves are effectively pricing brokers out of the market.

Intermediaries are in the position of having to tell clients in many situations they can get better deals elsewhere. This situation is not sustainable.

The intentions behind the letter were to highlight the fact that brokers and lenders are interdependent and they need to work together. A strong and vibrant intermediary sector is vital for future prospects of many of the lenders who are shutting the door to brokers. They are playing a dangerous game.


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White paper — recording sickness absence

The latest figures from the Department for Work and Pensions illustrate that sickness absence is still a major cost to businesses, with an annual bill for sick pay and associated costs to employers of £9bn. This paper from Jelf Employee Benefits looks at the importance of recording sickness absence for any employee health strategy and how this can be carried out in an efficient manner to reduce absence, improve employee engagement and drive up profits.


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