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First loyalty should be to your customers

I feel compelled to respond to the open letter to mortgage intermediaries printed in Money Marketing last week. Had it been two days earlier, I might have dismissed it as an April fool.

It is difficult to argue against the actual words of the letter but the sentiment is very much misfounded.

I would say to these comp-anies that their first loyalty is to their own customers – the people that 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.

Reference is made to TCF and that lenders have not breached this requirement. Do not forget that intermediaries are also customers by placing the loan in the first place. Also what about TIF – treating intermediaries fairly?

Is it fair to the customer and inter alia 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 credit rescore a case that has been offered with a view to withdrawing the offer? Is it fair to try and cut out a supporting intermediary by discounting your direct product? I believe not.

I totally concur with encouraging clients to save more with lending institu-tions but what about the support of the intermediary? Where can they generate revenues to pay their own mortgage? If retail funding is paramount are the institu-tions prepared to pay commissions?

In the past few years more than 70 per cent of mortgage business has been placed by the intermediary sector. The sector fully understands that the market is difficult. Surely this is the time that we should all work together?

Philip Holroyd
Commercial director


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