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Mortgages comment: Andrew Montlake


Yesterday I was quite angry so I took to the Twittersphere to have a little vent. Just one comment that read: “Sometimes, just sometimes, lenders and their ridiculous systems and decisions get on top of you – seriously time-consuming for no reason!”

In no time at all I had more than a few virtual consoling arms around me sharing my pain, which – apart from proving to me what a great forum social media has become and highlighting how many top people we have in our industry – showed I was not alone in feeling that way.

Now, I may not be the most organised person in the world (to err is human, after all) but I work hard for the benefit of clients, as we all do. 

Judging by the timings of the Twitter replies I received, extending into the early hours of the morning as brokers across the UK plugged away, we seem to be working harder than ever.

It is not that I mind hard work, either. I was brought up on long hours, often working until 10pm even when I started out in administration (try telling the young ’uns that these days).

Anyway, the point is it has been a torrid few years for the average broker but the good ones have soldiered on regardless, embracing the changes that came courtesy of the MMR, which in fact we all regard as pretty decent.

The MMR landed OK with no real issues and we have been looking forward to working, finally, in a much better market with lenders who want to lend.

It has been a bit of a shock therefore that lenders’ interpretations of many of the guidelines set down in the MMR have caused some strange outcomes that seem far from ideal. 

There does not seem to be much evidence of common sense being allowed to flourish, especially when, pound for pound, remortgages onto a lower rate are now “not affordable”, among
other things.

The FCA is right to raise its concerns that lenders are taking everything to the nth degree and customer outcomes are suffering as a result.

On the whole, brokers support lenders. We stand by changes and deal with them and I do not feel it is necessary to start naming and shaming. 

Likewise, we know we are important to lenders; intermediaries are more integral than ever and our efforts to help lenders have increased exponentially.

Is it about time procuration fees reflected this more accurately? 

For me it is a partnership, more so now than it has ever been, but it needs to work both ways. 

We all want quality and good consumer outcomes so let’s all talk a bit more, eh?

Andrew Montlake is a director of mortgage broker Coreco



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