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Contents A change is as good as a rest Amid the doldrums innovation stirs


A change, they say, is as good as a rest. And after nearly fi ve years of languishing in post credit crunch doldrums the mortgage mar- ket might just have cottoned on to the truth in this. Branding may seem like hot air but it can shape how employ- ees and customers feel about a business – and if you get it right that translates into cash. As an industry we’re no strangers to brands coming and going and reorganising post merger. But I’d wager there’s a branding opportunity now that didn’t


The Roman god Janus is the gatekeeper of the new year, character- ised by his two faces looking back and forwards. It is tempting in January to mull more on the year that has passed than on what the future holds. Especially when the future looks so bleak. I am not going to go over the Europe, unemployment and double dip forecasts here – read on for all you need to know on 2012’s economic outlook. Rather, I want to look forwards at a year I believe marks a


exist before. It’s down to the mood of the country. For hundreds of years bankers have been trusted with our money. Even Disney saw fi t to immortalise the “stability” of Eng- land’s banks in the 1960s classic Mary Poppins. “Soon that tuppence invested safely in the bank will become a pound,” says the ancient bank manager to two wide-eyed children. Fat chance. This month I speak to Virgin Money on page 28 about why they’ve decided to ditch the Northern Rock brand, beloved by brokers distrusted by consumers, and forge ahead with their vision of “better banking”. Simple, competitive products, straightforward service with a smile and the idea of


turning point for the mortgage industry. Blind optimism you may well say, but you’d be wrong. Admittedly it ain’t rosy for gross lending this year but there are signs of Spring. Brokers and lenders have pinned their hopes on buy-to-let and with Abbey for In- termediaries fi nally open for business and Paragon launching 50 new products, 2012 looks set to be a dapper year for landlords and those arranging their fi nance. Innovation is often the fi rst sign of the slow way back to competition and this year


playing a role in the community seem to be at the heart of it. These are not necessar- ily groundbreaking objectives but their timing is fortunate. People lack trust in fi nancial services for many obvious reasons. What Virgin ap- pears to be doing is trying to break the mould of traditional banking, in part by tak- ing it back to its roots. With all the fl ash product and technology that will no doubt emerge over the coming year they have also chosen to offer the public one thing no other bank does. Space and time – for free. Virgin Money’s “lounges” will be community space available for locals to book and use free of charge. Brokers too are encouraged to use them when speaking to clients. It’s a little thing but for advisers it should reaffi rm what you’ve known all along. Face time and personal relationships with clients count. The Mortgage Market Review recognises this in the value it puts on advice. Brokers


may tread the mortgage boards this year too. Near prime is likely to grow, driven in large part by rising unemployment and the


fi nancial blips that accompany it. Clients in this bracket are often in vulnerable situa- tions and advisers have a critical role to play in helping them sort themselves out. The other area where innovation is opening its sleepy eyes is in the short-term


have the same opportunity as Virgin has already seized with both hands. Enough resting in the way we’ve always done things, the challenge this year is how we change the opinions of people who could become clients.


Sarah Davidson, Editor


Mortgage Introducer


Issue 43 February 2012 Publisher


Editor Editor


@RobynHall 020 7502 8229 Robyn@mortgageintroducer.com


Issue 42 January 2012 Publisher


@SarahDavidson 020 7502 8225 Sarah@mortgageintroducer.com


Reporter Reporter


Sarah Davidson, 020 7502 8225 Sarah@mortgageintroducer.com


@YuanPhoon 020 7502 8220 Yuan Phoon, 020 7502 8220


Editorial Director Editorial Director


uan@mortgageintroducer.com Yuan@mortgageintroducer.com


Nia Williams, 020 7502 8231 Nia@mortgageintroducer.com @mortgagechat


Nia Williams, 020 7502 8231 Nia@mortgageintroducer.com


Associate Publisher


Matt Bond, 020 7502 8227 Matt@mortgageintroducer.com


Associate Publisher Production Editor


Subscriptions Subscriptions


Robyn Hall, 020 7502 8229 Robyn@mortgageintroducer.com


Felix Blakeston, 020 7502 8206 Felix@mortgageintroducer.com


Matt Bond, 020 7502 8227 Matt@mortgageintroducer.com


ew Goldsmith, 020 7502 8220 Andrew@thepublishinggroup.co.uk


Andrew Goldsmith, 020 7502 8220 Andrew@thepublishinggroup.co.uk


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ADVICE TO READERS ADVICE TO READERS


Printed & distributed in England by The Magazine Printing Company Ltd


Copyright Mortgage Introducer Limited


Average net circulation of 5000 print copies between July 1st 2010 - 30th June 2011


Average net circulation of 5000 print copies between July 1st 2010 - 30th June 2011


Information carried in Mortgage Introducer is checked for accuracy, but we recommend that you make enquiries and, if necessary, take legal advice before entering into any transactions. Any views or opinions expressed in this magazine are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Mortgage Introducer Ltd. All rights reserved in respect of all articles, drawings, photographs etc published in Mortgage Introducer anywhere in the world. Reproduction or imitations of these are expressly forbidden without permission of the publishers. Editorial contribu- tions requiring an answer should be accompanied by a stamped self-addressed envelope. No responsibility can be taken for contributions lost or damaged in the post. Conditions of sale and supply: this periodical is sold subject to the following conditions, namely that it shall not without the prior written consent of the publishers be lent, resold, hired out or otherwise disposed of in a mutilated condition or in any unauthorised cover by way of trade or affixed to any advertis- ing, literary or pictorial matter whatsoever. All advertising is subject to the terms of our current rate card.


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Primary and Special Mortgage Servicing with a difference. www.exact.co.uk www.mortgageintroducer.com StripintroducerEXACT.indd 1 MORTGAGE INTRODUCER JANUARY 2012 MORTGAGE INTRODUCER FEBRUARY 2012 23 3 13/12/2010 16:25


Information carried in Mortgage Introducer is checked for accuracy, but we recommend that you make enquiries and, if necessary, take legal advice before entering into any transactions. Any views or opinions expressed in this magazine are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Mortgage Introducer Ltd. All rights reserved in respect of all articles, drawings, photographs etc published in Mortgage Introducer anywhere in the world. Reproduction or imitations of these are expressly forbidden without permission of the publishers. Editorial contribu- tions requiring an answer should be accompanied by a stamped self-addressed envelope. No responsibility can be taken for contributions lost or damaged in the post. Conditions of sale and supply: this periodical is sold subject to the following conditions, namely that it shall not without the prior written consent of the publishers be lent, resold, hired out or otherwise disposed of in a mutilated condition or in any unauthorised cover by way of trade or affi xed to any advertis- ing, literary or pictorial matter whatsoever. All advertising is subject to the terms of our current rate card.


market. The FSA has woken up to the potential the bridging market has to grow (and present problems) as lender after lender piles in. Pricing, LTVs and criteria were all beginning to look more interesting in this sector last year and I suspect 2012 will see that continue. Best of all, the brokers in our cover feature on pages 28-33 are fi red up about busi- ness prospects this year not overwhelmed by the fl ames of the economy. In spite of all the gloom it is reassuring to see that people’s spirits aren’t dampened.


is the fi rst since pre-credit crunch that there is some real progress. Castle Trust is due to launch its partnership mortgage (one hopes in Spring) and lenders including Precise Mortgages, Aldermore and Kensington are trying really hard to lend and offer diversity in a market crying out for it. Mutuals too are throwing their hats in the ring and Leeds is the latest to launch a 100% shared ownership mortgage. Virgin Money, Tesco Bank and Home Savings Bank are all waiting in the wings and


4 News Review


8 Property News Review 10 Lending News Review 12 Products News Review 13 Housing News Review 14 Specialist Prime News Review 16 General Insurance News Review 18 Buy-to-Let News Review 20 Short-term Lending News Review 20 Packaging News Review 22 Protection News Review


24 The Outlaw


The good, the bad, the boring and the vulgar 26 The Bigger Issue Vote in our poll and see what the experts think


4 News Review 6 Property News Review 7 Lending News Review 8 Housing News Review 10 Products News Review 12 General Insurance News Review 14 Economics News Review 15 Near Prime News Review 16 Equity Release News Review 16 Packaging News Review 17 Specialist Prime News Review 18 Mortgage Market Review Analysis 20 Protection News Review 21 Scottish News Review 22 Short-term Lending News Review


28 Emerging from the chrysalis How to evolve from the credit crunch chrysalis as a butterfly 34 The Power Hour


How to help first-time buyers 40 The Interview


42 House Prices Numbers reveal the national picture


24 The Bigger Issue Vote in our poll and see what the experts think


MI talks to Mortgageforce MD, Kevin Duffy


28 The burning issue How brokers around the UK are faring 34 The Power Hour How to beat fraud 40 The Interview


MI talks to Abbey for Intermediaries’ Miguel Sard


44 Bridging and Commercial News Review 46 NACFB News Digest The NACFB shares its news from the past month


42 House prices Numbers reveal the national picture


50 Hall of Fame


Who is infamous this month? 54 Hall of Fame


44 Bridging and Commercial News Review 46 NACFB News digest The NACFB shares its news from the past month


Who is infamous this month? Cover: Quan Dich / Robyn Hall


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