Alexander Hall refutes BBC claims

Ramesh Sharma

March 25, 2006

Alexander Hall and estate agency firm Foxtons were both criticised as part of a BBC Whistleblower report into the estate agency market, and brokers have admitted their scepticism of tying-in.

Hugh Nichols, partner at Badbury Berkeley Mortgage Services, argued the programme highlighted concerns over brokers tied to estate agents, a topic likely to intensify in the run up to the launch of Home Information Packs (HIPs). He said: “The programme highlighted the quandary of brokers tied to estate agencies. People must be very careful not to misuse the position of trust they find themselves in.”

Rob Clifford, managing director at Mortgageforce, added: “I was surprised about the extent to which the agent was prepared to act on behalf of the buyer, against the seller, for whom it is supposed to be acting.”

Andy Pratt, chief operating officer at Alexander Hall, said: “The BBC Whistleblower programme alleged Alexander Hall disclosed personal client information to Foxtons. This is unsubstantiated and Alexander Hall is considering its position regarding legal action.

“Alexander Hall does not disclose any personal client information to Foxtons or any other party, other than mortgage lenders. We do have to liaise between lenders and estate agents to ensure a client can afford a mortgage to secure an offer on a property – this is standard practice. In many cases the client will ask us to disclose certain personal information to the estate agent but we always get written consent from the client. The programme included no evidence that Alexander Hall disclosed personal client information to Foxtons. We have asked for specific details of any allegations so we can investigate them but none have been supplied. The company takes these obligations very seriously and has a strong compliance ethic.”

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