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Royal Bank of Scotland ditches packagers

Royal Bank of Scotland Intermediary Partners will no longer accept business from packagers.

The lender made the decision after a review of its distribution process and decided on streamlining the valuation process to eliminate packagers, which it says will produce a more consistent service to brokers.

RBSIP, which only used a small number of packagers, will still accept business from packagers if they are acting as direct brokers and will pay proc fees.

Last June, RBSIP was criticised by Hamptons Mortgages managing director Kevin Duffy for failing to embrace packagers within its specialist brand NatWest.

RBS spokesman Rob Davies says: “RBSIP has decided that all valuations will be instructed by us through one of our panel valuers and therefore a packaging fee will not be payable. In the majority of cases, this happens already.”

In the latest management shake-up at RBSIP, former BM Solutions sales and marketing director Chris Pearson has been appointed as director of intermediary mortgages, replacing Caroline Marsh who is leaving the firm.


The spins of commission

Forget all the media scare stories about up-front commission, says Lifesearch head of protection strategy Kevin Carr, as pure protection is an area of financial services where commission can serve the consumer well.

Annuity options

Prudential head of annuities Aston Goodey says that as inflation bites into pensioners’ income, their only real alternative for making their money work for them is an investment-backed annuity and with-profits are a viable option.

India Election Update

What a difference six months makes. Speaking in September last year, we had warned of ‘excessive pessimism’ afflicting the market’s perception of India. Since then, responsible central bank policy from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), alongside improving global growth, has meant that India’s macro environment is strengthening quickly. The current account deficit has shrunk, inflation is falling and the government has embarked on a heavy dose of much needed fiscal consolidation. As a result, the rupee has been one of the strongest global currencies this year while the market has touched all-time highs, rallying by more than 20 per cent (GBP) since September. This begs the question: are we now in a period of ‘irrational exuberance’? Not yet.


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