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Innovation is being shunned by lenders

Countrywide chief executive officer Grenville Turner says lenders are “running scared” of innovation.

Speaking last week at the Council of Mortgage Lenders’ Mortgage Industry Conference and Exhibition at Islington in London, Turner said: “I think it is interesting that a phrase I have heard in a number of presentations recently is ’innovation’. I think most of us in the industry have seen the stifling of innovation over the past couple of years, particularly with lenders trying to find their feet, from a regulatory perspective, and probably running scared of innovation. I think the better we as intermediaries are organised, the more we can work with lenders on that agenda.”

When asked why he believed lenders were scared of innovation, Turner replied: “I have been to about 100 meetings with lenders over the past couple of years where the answer to anything innovative was no.

Nationwide Building Society head of intermediary sales Ian Andrew said lenders will continue to stick to low-risk lending. He said: “I think there is a little bit of innovation coming back to the market at the moment but while lenders are constrained by funding issues and they can get low LTV, good quality business, that is what they are going to collect.”

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