BoI urged to focus sights on broker market

Ramesh Sharma

June 1, 2004

Bristol & West Mortgages (B&WM) has launched direct to the consumer with a remortgage campaign in the national press and online. It is offering a range including standard, buy-to-let, offset and First Start.

The move is the result of BoI’s decision to transfer the Bristol & West branch network and savings and investment business to Britannia Building Society in September this year. It will offer the direct proposition under Bank of Ireland Personal Lending’s four main brands; B&WM; Bank of Ireland Mortgages; Giraffe and alburaq (Islamic home finance).

However, Andy Frankish, managing director of Mortgage Talk, suggested it should invest in the broker market rather than a direct arm.

He said: “Bristol & West is not a big player in the intermediary market and I presume it is making this move to increase business levels but in order to do so surely it would be far better investing money into the broker market which is much more cost-efficient? It only has to look at successful models such as BM Solutions, which concentrated its business on intermediaries by lessening its direct arm, to see what possible gains can be made.”

Alison Pallett, head of consumer lending at Bristol & West Mortgages, said: “This is a tremendous opportunity to develop a business that aims to mirror the success and market share we already experience under our highly successful mortgage intermediary business.”

A Bristol & West spokesperson added: “B&WM and Bristol & West Mortgages Direct are two very different business units, dealing with intermediaries and consumers respectively. There will be no change to the service that intermediaries receive from B&WM.”

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