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Woolwich and Abbey are set to break up Rock share

Woolwich and Abbey have been tipped as two balance sheet lenders that could seize a big part of Northern Rock’s market share.

Mortgage Force managing director Rob Clifford told the Money Marketing sub-prime round table that Abbey have grabbed an early lead in terms of emulating a product like Northern Rock’s Together product.

But John Charcol senior technical manager Ray Boulger said that Woolwich is an interesting case as it has just come out with some very cheap fixed-rate products and has made a point it will not be putting up its tracker rates.

Clifford said: “It is a massive opportunity and I think some mainstream lenders with some big bank sheets could certainly steal that market share. However, most of the mainstream lenders are not very interested in the risk profile or the range of innovation that Northern Rock delivered to the intermediary market.”

Boulger added: “It will give those that do not have funding issues the opportunity to not only be a part of the market share for 2007 but also to get well ahead of the game for 2008.”

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