Since the dark uncertain days of November 2004 and the introduction of the new world of regulation, there has been something nagging at the back of my mind about our new world of transparency and treating customers fairly. It has been there a year and this nagging is now reaching spouse-like proportions and will not go away.
Quite rightly, we exist in part of a very regulated food chain. Our customer, the broker, sees what we earn. His customer, the borrower, sees what he earns and yet at the end of the chain is the party that regularly gorges itself at the table the lender. So where is the transparency that the FSA seeks?
Of course, our lender friends exist in a very much more complicated world than the humble broker or secondhand car-selling packager.
They live in a world of necromancy and deep subtlety that we poor souls will never comprehend. HPAFs, ERCs, through lending, whole loan sales and the darkest magic of all securitisation.
Any gentle quizzing as to their stake in all this is usually met with a standard portfolio management blocking answer or some complicated algorithm that sends us scuttling away for cover again.
A chance conversation to this end at the recent
CML dinner while playing the usual game of identify the dinner led to a very interesting offer by one of our securitisation-friendly lenders.
They offered to declare openly their earnings on their next securitisation in our world so that we could all see what a meagre existence they survive on. It was, however, made with the proviso that they wanted their competitors to follow suit.
So, come on then, guys. You are forever telling us how tight margins are (despite the plethora of new lenders that keep appearing to refute that suggestion). Come and play the game of transparency with the rest of the regulated players.
Let us see some of these earnings statistics published in Money Marketing.
Director of business development,