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Firms under fire for defending lenders

SimplyBiz and Mortgage Next have hit out at an open letter to brokers signed by mortgage clubs and networks, suggesting its support for lenders shows a lack of loyalty to brokers and borrowers.

In last week’s Money Marketing, Sesame, Openwork, Pink Home Loans, Personal Touch Financial Services, Legal & General Mortgage Club and Home of Choice joined forces to sign the letter by Premier Mortgage Service managing director John Malone.

They called on brokers to understand and make allowances for the huge strain the credit crunch is placing on lenders. The move has split the industry, with a poll on Moneymarketing.co.uk showing that 51 per cent of advisers agree with the letter, with 49 per cent against.

Writing in Money Marketing this week, SimplyBiz commercial director Philip Holroyd says the sentiment behind the letter is “very much misfounded”. He says: “I would say to these companies that their first loyalty is to their customers – the people who pay their fees or support them with business. Perhaps they are only interested in providing support when times are easy? Now is the time to stand up and be counted.

“Is it fair to the customer and the intermediary to withdraw a product without notice? Is it fair to withdraw an offer just before a mortgage is due to complete? Is it fair to try and cut out a supporting intermediary by discounting your direct product? I believe not.”

Mortgage Next managing director Gemma Harle says the message is unfair. She says: “Is this a plea from distributors to lenders that ‘If we’re nice to you, please be nice to us?’ If it is, I do not think it is going to make a blind bit of difference.”

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