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HBOS denies dual-pricing has hit broker business

HBOS claims its split of direct and intermediary business remains similar to last year despite the controversy surrounding dual-pricing.

Intermediaries managing director Nigel Stockton says intermediaries’ share of lending has never been less than 65 per cent of total HBOS lending during 2008.

He says: “The amount of business our branches have done has increased slightly but that is all. It has not changed the overall shape of business.”

Stockton says dual-pricing is no longer a significant issue for HBOS. He says: “We launched a new range last week which was the third range that has moved the broker and branch ranges much closer together.”

Stockton admits there are still differences between the two channels but says they are “negligible.” He says: “The discussions really started about dual-pricing at the beginning of April when people were convinced that because their business volumes were down, sometimes as much as 30 to 40 per cent, it must be because branches were taking a great deal more business. In fact, the market is down by that much.”

Stockton says HBOS’s appetite for the mortgage market has not changed. He says: “We want a share of 20 to 22 per cent of gross lending. HBOS wants to be one of the biggest lenders. Whether we will get to be the biggest lender this year is still a question mark but we do want to be one of the biggest lenders going forward.”

Brentchase Financial Services mortgage specialist Mike Fitzgerald says: “Dual-pricing has started to die out a little bit. I think lenders were a bit surprised about the backlash from brokers. HBOS has started to offer some exclusives through Personal Touch Financial Services which we have used.”

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