A John Charcol Broker. Priceless...

Posted on 23 November 2012 by Simon

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A John Charcol Broker. Priceless...

It’s been a very interesting few weeks, following a number of conferences, most notably that of the Council Of Mortgage Lenders (CML), where a few of the speakers have made some attention grabbing comments.

The Chairman of the CML, whose day job is the Head of Mortgages for HSBC, appeared not to know how Key Feature Illustrations work (worrying), when he claimed that procuration fees were hidden from borrowers, and they’re actually very clearly displayed.

At the same conference, the chief exec (designate) of the FSA told large lenders that they will have to ditch their much beloved “one size fits all” approach, as “in some cases that approach lost sight of the needs of the customer.” He also chastised them saying, “lending should be about building a relationship with your customers, not just performing a transaction.”

As if that wasn’t enough, a speaker at the Personal Finance Society conference, claims that the FSA’s replacement, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) would be run “primarily to avoid a ’kicking’ from politicians and the media”, and that the FSA had already adopted what it called “The Daily Mail Test!”

Now why highlight the above issues you may ask? Good question, which I will answer with another! With the rather alarming stances and concerning lack of knowledge from some very senior figures in the lending industry, my question is, who is actually looking after your financial interests ? When you buy a home (whether to live or for investment), or remortgage an existing property, who actually represents your best interests?

Is it the banks, whose primary concern is to their shareholders and who in this age of ongoing  economic uncertainty, are still trying to shore up their balance sheets ? How many bank branches advise a would-be borrower to “nip down the road to another lender as they have better rates?”

One also wonders how quickly the “large lenders” (we know who they are) can move away from their “one size fits all” policy, and what will the result mean for borrowers.

With the FSA’s Mortgage Market Review (MMR) coming into force in 2014, there’s never been a more opportune moment for brokers to demonstrate their value to clients who want a service that genuinely looks after their best interests, and is tailored to their individual requirements. Yes you may pay a fee, but the knowledge and sense of security that you are now our client, and that’s it’s our responsibility to look after you and get you the best possible mortgage for your personal circumstances, is priceless! 

Categories: Mortgages, Interest rates


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