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Edeus turns the screws on high-street lenders

Mortgage lender Edeus has launched a blistering tirade against direct-selling companies in an advertising campaign designed to attract brokers.

It uses the slogan “Screw branches, not brokers” in a potentially inflammatory bid to persuade intermediaries that providers with direct arms do not have their best interests at heart. Another line used by Edeus is “The war is on”, with Abbey, Halifax, Nationwide and NatWest under attack. Barclays cashpoints can also be seen in ads to be released next week.

But Premier Mortgage Service managing director John Malone thinks that the campaign goes too far.

He says: “We see nothing wrong with working through a panel of lenders that have branch networks and provide a range of services on the high street.”

Edeus, which is headed by former HBOS pair Michael Bolton and Alan Cleary, has been no stranger to controversy since its launch last September, with Bolton and Cleary taking swipes at rivals, most notably at Halifax and BM Solutions’ retention schemes.

Edeus says in its ads: “Halifax, NatWest, Abbey, Nationwide. Who are they kidding? They say: ‘We’re opening all these branches so we can serve our customers’. Yeah right, should that not be: ‘so we can flog them more mortgages directly’? But what does this mean for brokers? We have never been able to work out how many lenders who operate branch networks can say they are committed to intermediaries.

“It is hardly rocket science but if a lender has branches, that means they have also got a bad case of divided attention. We believe that if you want to say you are committed to brokers then you have got to show it.”

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