View more on these topics

Normal service will resume

It is clear that Abbey has finally overhauled the mighty HBOS in share of the mortgage market. In happier times, brokers would have been more than pleased to see this happen as it would have meant an injection of competition and a big challenge to the presumed market number one.

In more competitive times, Abbey would often heed brokers’ calls for it to do more to catch HBOS but time and time again HBOS would simply inject a little more pace and maintain its share.

Not now, however. Indeed, if there is an analogy, it is more like a comedy sketch, where the sergeant major asks for volunteers and everyone else takes two steps back. But to put things in a more positive light, Abbey, owned by Santander, is a well resourced big financial institution which is not under any particular stockmarket pressure or indeed unfair speculation and within the mortgage market its role is now vital.

As part of this picture, it has also managed to avoid indulging itself in the sort of risky mortgage securities that nearly felled several global names.

Clearly, when a bank assumes such a role, it must be tempting to believe that it can dominate whatever channel it distributes through. A successful purchase of Alliance & Leicester will only serve to encourage such thinking.

Money Marketing would make one argument. We don’t think that the mortgage market is going to “disintermediate” long term. A type of customer behaviour has been established and although shopping around may be more difficult at the moment, we think that when a semblance of normality returns, it will still be a market very much serviced by mortgage brokers and mortgage IFAs.

More people may apply themselves to saving for a deposit than has previously been the case but we still think mortgages will be brokered. It is very likely that in a recovering market, we may see the share held by intermediaries falling but we predict that they will still take the lion’s share of mortgage recommendations two or three years hence.

For Abbey and many of the big banks, we think the smart money will regard intermediaries not just as past partners but as future ones, too.


Results season begins

Aviva stole the limelight this week kicking off the life sector’s interim reporting season with news that it has finally reached a £1bn reattribution deal with policyholder advocate Clare Spottiswoode.


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


    Leave a comment


    Why register with Money Marketing ?

    Providing trusted insight for professional advisers.  Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

    News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
    Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

    Money Marketing Events
    Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

    Research and insight
    Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

    Have your say
    Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

    Register now

    Having problems?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

    Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm