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HBOS pledges it will pump £10m into broker services

HBOS is to embark on a multi-million-pound inv- estment drive over the next two years to boost its already dominant position in the intermediary mortgage market.

The giant has pledged to pump £10m into improving services for brokers, in addition to its “business as usual” investment.

It will be largely spent on improving technology to protect and increase its 21 per cent market share.

The cash injection is seen by some as a reaction to the wave of new lenders who are building their presence on strong technology, as well as ongoing IT improvements from the likes of GMAC.

Brokers will see improvements in point-of-sale service and case tracking.

HBOS intermediary dis- tribution and specialist banking managing director Philip Grant does not go into specifics, but it is likely that the lender will look to replicate its strong points across its five brands.

BM Solutions has pledged to offer point-of-sale offers by the end of the year while it already gives point-of-sale offers, subject to valuation. BM and Halifax have online product transfer facilities.

Grant also re-assured brokers that the lender has no plans to dispose of any of its brands.

He says: “We are investing £10m over the next 18 to 24 months as well as business-as-usual investment. Changes will be rolled out over time but generally it is about enhancing point of sale for brokers and case tracking.

“This is one of the most fiercely competitive mark- ets and to maintain our position is very tough. There is far more likely to be a sixth brand strategy than a four. You do not turn good brands off.”

Openwork mortgage proposition director Paul Shearman says: “HBOS has not achieved its dominance without investment. Many new entrants have strong IT platforms so I am not surprised by the news.”

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