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Review of 2004: Mortgages

The base rate rises this summer started the slowdown in transaction levels but the industry is almost unanimous in saying that there will be no crash.

The Spanish invasion was successful as Banco Santander acquired Abbey for 8.7bn, with brokers hoping the move could see the number two lender raise its game to rival HBOS.

Meanwhile, GMAC-RFC rose in the CML’s lending ranks but TMB blocked new lending, returning in September.

Purely Mortgages, run by Mark Chilton, targeted the phone-based advice market in July.

Charcol finally broke free from Bradford & Bingley’s shackles in December for a substantially smaller sum than originally purchased. Neutrals breathed a sigh of relief that the saga was over. Rivals were probably less happy.

The market saw Thinc a multi-distribution platform make a huge impact while ex-Group 300 members grumbled over pipeline fees.

First Active returned in June with a charming thumbs-up campaign. Sun Bank realised it was not a bank and renamed itself The Mortgage Works. Alexander Hall, having marketed itself as offering free independent advice, found it was contravening FSA regulations and now clearly promotes a fee option.

While you are shopping for your turkey, remember that Tesco supermarket has been offering mortgages since November.

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Digest

ASB publishes accounting regimeThe Accounting Standards Board has published a standard accounting regime which builds on the FSA’s new regulatory capital regime for with-profits, introduced in November 2004. The standard, which will increase the transparency of with-profits funds, will be introduced in December 31, 2005.

Multi-manager view

In the past few issues of Money Marketing, there have been some lively discussions around the high cost of multi-manager products.

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