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Tenet reviews leads deal following moneysupermarket.com’s broker blunder

Tenet says it is reviewing its relationship with PAA leads in light of parent company moneysupermarket.com’s negative press release about mortgage brokers.

This follows Personal Touch Financial Services’s decision yesterday to terminate its relationship with PAA leads after moneysupermarket.com’s claims over the weekend that 90 per cent of the best products on the market are now direct-only. Moneysupermarket.com has since retracted the research after concerns about its accuracy.

The release stated: “Traditionally mortgage brokers have had the pick of the best deals on the market, with lenders often offering them better deals than they were able to give to their customers direct. However, the financial turmoil in the last couple of years has seen the mortgage market turned on its head, and due to the lack of supply and high demand lenders can take full advantage of the current situation rather than having to push their products through brokers, which they previously relied on. As a result, anyone using a mortgage broker needs to be aware that the range of products available may be limited.”

Tenet group distribution and development director Keith Richards says: “We are extremely disappointed with moneysupermarket’s comment, which clearly demonstrates a lack of balanced market positioning and a lack of consideration for the relationship with its subsidiary businesses.

“We are in contact with PAA and we do now have the matter under consideration as to what further action we take. In the meantime, it is very clear that advisers will choose the most appropriate course of action they feel to be.”

Personal Touch Financial Services announced yesterday it had removed the lead generator from its panel.

Which Network Director Paul Day believes PTFS’ decision to terminate its relationship with PAA could lead to others following suit.

He says: “I’d imagine there are a lot of advisers out there who buy leads will be questioning whether they should use them or not.”

A Moneysupermarket.com spokesman says: “Due to the limited number of products available and restriction on lending, brokers are even more important which is why moneysupermarket.com works closely with intermediaries. We also believe that it is important that consumers shop around for the best deal for their individual circumstances and doing so they need to consider all the options available. Our intention was to highlight this important message to consumers, not to criticise the broker industry.”

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Comments

There are 18 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. As much as brokers do not like the fact I think that moneysupermarket is obliged to inform clients of the best route to take, it is after all a client driven business not broker driven.

  2. Barry Wycherley 4th August 2010 at 9:33 am

    Talk about throwing out the baby with the bath water – cutting of a source of business just because the supplier is telling the truth!

  3. Whilst they certainly bit the hand that feeds them, they certainly didn’t say anything that was untrue or offensive!

  4. Mike Fitzgerald 4th August 2010 at 9:46 am

    The recent comments from Moneysupermarket.com about brokers is just another blow to intermediaries who have been continually put down for the service they offer.
    It was nice to see a large network taking PAA leads off their panel and i now feel that brokers and networks should get together and use their commercial muscle to let these companies know how they feel
    Mike Fitzgerald
    The EMBA Group Ltd

  5. My firms experience of using Paa Leads has been negative anyway as the vast majority of these leads have mobile phone numbers that never answer and when you request a refund you get the response that we do not give refunds on this type of lead as the data is not incorrect. My worry about this type of firm is are they manufacturing data as it is very easy to come up with a mobile phone number and never answer it or selling that data on to several IFA’s at once. When we were using them only 1 in 10 leads converted to actual business and when we look at the cool off rate it simply did not make sense.

    As this company is not actually providing advice but selling on data are personally think the FSA should ban this type of activity as many clients do not realise that their data is being sold on to third parties.

  6. This is nothing new when my organisations compliance requirement is already to disclose when discussing our Initial Disclosure to state that we are unable to offer direct deals or certain lenders. This is to ensure that our reputation and professionalism is in tact and to ensure that the client is aware of the extent of our service . However, as MoneyS are not giving advice or are required to explain the extent of their service then I can not see the reason to highlight this. Maybe MoneyS need to join forces with ‘Confused’ and then this might make sense. Bad business move I think uneccessarily putiing in warnings like this.

  7. In response to the two Anonymous responders at 09:33….I would hate to think you are brokers, but suspect you may represent those that have their own interests at heart and once agian represent those who clearly don’t wish to support fellow professionals in this industry….broker or not, it is trying for everybody and all distribution channels should recognise and support each other, after all the pie is big enough for all to sit at the table and not score points off others!!

  8. Mr Old Fashioned 4th August 2010 at 10:05 am

    This is about control of distribution. The lenders are hoping to control the marketing of mortgage business and cut out the mortgage broker. Moneysupermeerkat.com is hoping to cut out the mortgage broker and build its business.
    Over the 39 years I have been in the financial services industry I have seen so many threats to the IFA: direct response advertising, direct sales firms (such as Abbey Life and Equitable Life), tied agents, life offices buying estate agents, Multi-ties, now the web and comparison services. It goes on and on.
    The key thing about survival is the ability to change and evolve (as first spotted by Darwin).
    The thinking IFA is more than capable of doing that.
    So I’m not concerned what Moneysupermeerkat.com says, although I have to admit that I am pleased to see PAAleads.com (which brings you the power of moneysupermarket.com consumer lead sourcing) being dropped by Personal Touch Financial Services. Presumably more will follow their lead.
    This showsa lack of joined up thinking on the part of moneysupermarket.com and PAAleads.com. Serve them right!

  9. I would like to give a ‘loud thank you’ to PTFS for having acted so promptly and would ask other networks to follow suit.

    However, I am urging the networks to put more pressure on the lenders and regulators to stop lenders from using this practice. Consumers now have to make the tough decision on whether to take up valuable advice or risk it and get a cheaper deal direct.

    I am very surprised that the OFT is not interested in this as I believe this practice suppresses competition and choice of retail outlet the consumer may use.

    In my view, the major networks are sticking their heads in the sand and are not looking to find a way to fight this. If we, the advisers, have to throw in the towel, the networks will also go under.

    Before I used to have high hopes that the AMI would be a force to be reckoned with in the fight for our cause, but I think the organisation has turned out to be a huge disappointment and does no longer have my support.

    The networks need to lobby politicians, consumer groups and regulators before it is too late. Pressure needs also to be put on the Government and the Bank of England to support and stimulate securitation as there are not enough savings being made to stimulate the mortgage sector.

    As the cuts start to bite next year, the savings are likely to be reduced as the public would need to find the extra funds to support themselves through the tough times.

    However, I do fear we are running out of time.

  10. My experience of using PAA Leads has been very positive, I have been using the leads for 7 years and they are the mainstay of my business, As for the claim that they are manufacturing contacts or multi selling the leads… well I will be polite and call that rubbish, I have taken thousands of leads and have never had these problems, I dont convert them all of course but I make nice big profit thanks very much… Some people lke to blame others for their dismal performance and a lead supplier is a perfect target….I have had 18 years working in this industry and have heard every excuse in the book for not writing business…. PAA have sent an email out apologising and to be fair MS were only telling the truth (TCF) . I am going to carry on using PAA and I know many who still will….

  11. We tried PAA Leads for a while (not for mortgages, but for pensions, investments and protection) and swiftly realised that nearly all the enquiries we were getting via them were rubbish, so we jacked them in. It was just the same with a couple of other lead generation outfits we tried.

    I’ve yet to hear of ANY lead generation service that’s worth a light.

  12. I was shocked but not surprised to read Money Supermarket’s comments. They really are treading on dangerous ground as direct lender headline rates are reserved for the best clients. Where does that leave the rest if brokers are being pushed out of the market?

  13. PAA leads are very expensive with the introduction of bidding system.
    Whereas we were paying average £30.00 per lead this is now £50.00 and the conversion ratio has dropped from 3 to 1 in 10.
    The contact numbers provided by the consumers appear to be correct but beyond contactable.
    This has been very frustrating and we have requested that MS clearly spell it out in bold and strong colour that the customer will be contacted by a professional adviser and that the enquiry should only be submitted if the consumer is happy to recieve a call but this seems to simple for MS to amend.
    As a result of frustration and lip service from MS we have also suspended our custom.

  14. There seems to be two issues here. One is whether PAA leads is any good – and i’ve yet to hear anything that is that positive about these services – in fact i think there is a gap in the market for a good one.

    Secondly its the lenders that control the deals, they are the ones going direct, so ultimately the “blame” if there is one is theres. However it goes to show what happens when joined up thinking is taking place. It makes sense to drop PAA leads when their parent company is advising people to go direct – however would they still have dropped them if PAA leads had been any good?

  15. I have used several lead companies in the early days of starting out.. I soon realised that they are in fact a rip off. I have caught one lead company which will remain nameless using the same mobile numbers and diffferent names when called. So lets play devils advocate here how do we know that someone isn’t answering our lead followups on bogus pay as you go numbers just to say we don’t need advice thankyou, When you ask for a refund are refused on policy terms! …. Strangely another conspiracy is they resale of duff leads time and time again I would be the second person to have called the potential client from a, how do you know when purchasing a lead you are not getting fobbed off with sub standard ones when a firm with a larger account pays more next to you? Start smarting up to the lead industry unregulated money spinning sales. Get back to basics go get your clients by using what your permissions as an advisor don’t rely on an internet firm that doesnt want to give you business on one hand then tries to sell you a duff lead on the other. Its business they not only want to get the publics money they want the brokers too.

  16. Wake up and smell the coffee! Mortgages are a commodity now just like standard life insurance, most clients are better off going direct on the Internet for both. Dry your eyes and adapt to investment advice if you can’t I would suggest retraining for a new career.

  17. Peter Davies @ Create Wealth Management 6th August 2010 at 2:51 pm

    Well done Money Supermarket.com. They have told it as it is. The majority of the most competitive mortgages are only available as direct deals. Tenet – face facts – that is the way the mortgage market place has changed in the last couple of years. We introduced a truly independent whole of market mortgage process over 2 years ago to ensure that clients were looking at both direct and indirect mortages. Clients need to be assured that their adviser is recommending the most competitive mortgage regardless of whether it is or isnt available to mortgage brokers. As for PAA leads – our experience of their leads was poor.

  18. Having worked in this industry for many years getting in front of people has always been difficult.I’ve had to cold call for business,buy leads.

    I’ve now started to write all my life insurance in trust,best advice for the client and for me,well,I visit all trustees to explain their role and the amount of business I’m picking up!!Should of done this years ago.

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