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Knight rips into Dips

GMAC-RFC executive chairman Stephen Knight has slammed lenders for providing decisions in principle on their websites which stack everything in their favour and against the intermediary.

In an interview with Money Marketing, Knight says GMAC is predicting a business slowdown of 10-20 per cent this year. He says with more lenders and less business, lenders will be focusing on creating better value of service for intermediaries, particularly through their online systems.

Knight says he particularly dislikes websites which deliver decisions in principle which he says are nothing other than words from “an antiquated 19th Century banking language”. Dips lodge everything in favour of the lender and not the intermediary, he says.

He says Dips create a time lapse which has no place in today’s fast-paced society and he challenges lenders which say they are at the forefront of technology to get rid of them.

GMAC is the first lender to offer online instant binding decisions on all products in an effort to reduce resource commitment and increase business for the intermediary. The firm says a binding decision can be given within 35 seconds of data being submitted.

Knight says: “This is an immediate environment. The idea of leaving someone waiting for three weeks for a decision means business will suffer.”

Despite the flattened market that most in the industry are expecting, GMAC is committed to doubling its volumes this year. Knight says it slashed margins earlier than others “to get our revenge in first” and claims it anticipates rather than responds to market conditions.

The new range, launched at the end of January, saw a reduction in rates across its non-conforming range by up to 1.25 per cent.

Knight says lenders which are not willing to be innovative and flexible will suffer. He believes the small to medium-sized building societies will be the winners in a flattened market because of their willingness to be adaptable. As a result, he does not rule out the possibility of plc mergers.


Duffy on mortgages

This week’s commentary features a 75m deal and the transfer of Alan Mudd back to Charcol from Savills. These items are unrelated and were certainly not part of any clandestine shenanigans in a west London hotel but both are harbingers of what could be an intriguing year for the mortgage industry.

Sub-Saharan Africa Near-Term Outlook

By Paul Caruana-Galizia, Neptune Economist

Sub-Saharan Africa’s economic renaissance continues. After growing at an average rate of five per cent over the past decade, the IMF projects an acceleration to 5.5 per cent growth among Sub-Saharan economies in the next two years, as developed economies emerge from the crisis. We expect this growth to be sustainable for three broad reasons.


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