View more on these topics

Sweeping claims over HBOS stance

I refer to the article in a recent edition of Money Marketing attributing comments to Stuart Bernau of Nationwide Building Society which made my blood boil. Indeed, I have taken a week to calm down before writing this.

I strongly disagree with his sweeping generalisation that the HBOS retention initiative “has not worked, has not been followed by the rest of the market and has ended up with poor products”, given that it is not the first such scheme available in the market, is still in its infancy and it has been widely reported that other lenders are actively considering their retention strategies.

While not all HBOS retention products have been competitive, there have been some competitive enough in rate and arrangement fee to recommend to clients after having followed the necessary sourcing procedures to make a sale FSA compliant.

In fact, some of these compare more than favourably to some of the retention products offered by Nationwide so does that make the Nationwide retention products poor as well? He goes on to comment that Nationwide is “working on maintaining intermediary relationships but not necessarily through proc fees”.

This has been necessary, as admitted by Mr Bernau and his colleagues at one of a series of breakfast meetings in Glasgow in early 2006 that Nationwide had taken its eye off the ball in terms of intermediary lending.

There is no doubt in my mind that the strength of feedback from that meeting, and most likely the other meetings as well, has contributed to their subsequent improvements in lending criteria (notably income multipliers), e-trading facilities and communication.

It is interesting to note that there has been no change in payments to intermediaries for either new or loyalty business and, their base mortgage rate apart, no products have been introduced without early repayment charges.

As an aside, I do believe that Halifax is also missing out on more retention business by not offering any retention products with no early repayment charges as customers can require these for genuine reasons. It should punish those who abuse this and not those who use it genuinely.

Mr Bernau’s comments indicate to me that although the mechanics for the intermediary in dealing with Nationwide have improved, perhaps the attitude of Nationwide to the intermediary market still needs more work and he should concentrate on that for some time instead of commenting on issues where Nationwide has a less than exemplary recent history.

Graham Kennedy
Graham Kennedy Mortgages

Recommended

IMA calls for cut in payment cap

The proposed contribution cap on personal accounts should be cut to £3,000 to keep the scheme outside the scope of regulated advice, says the Investment Management Association.Chief executive Richard Saunders told the work and pensions committee that a £5,000 limit would lead to questionable investment decisions such as whether people should put unmatched funds into […]

AMI warns mortgage brokers of imminent TCF deadline

The Association of Mortgage Intermediaries has issued a reminder to mortgage intermediary firms that there is just a month to go until the FSA’s TCF implementation deadline.The deadline was issued in last summer’s FSA publication ‘Treating Customers Fairly – towards fair outcomes for consumers’. In it, the FSA said that by 31 March 2007 it […]

Towry keeps clients after move to fees

JS&P Towry Law says it has lost just five advisers and no clients after moving to a feeonly model.The firm says it expected between 15 and 20 advisers to go but only five have said they are leaving. None of 2,000 clients contacted with details of the move away from commission have indicated that they […]

Greg Broomer 2

Survey looks at the challenges facing businesses post auto-enrolment

A survey conducted by Johnson Fleming at the Pension & Benefits Show 2014 highlighted the key challenges faced within organisations post auto-enrolment. The results showed that communicating the changes and the value of them to staff, and receiving timely data from the payroll provider proved to still be the most challenging aspects of managing an auto-enrolment scheme.

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up

Comments

    Leave a comment

    Close

    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

    Email: customerservices@moneymarketing.com