July in the financial services market has been a bit like the weather … mixed but mostly pretty drab.
Let’s start with the lenders. The government has launched its funding for lending initiative so lenders can borrow at the cheap rate of 0.25%.
This has had an immediate impact on the market with the likes of HSBC and Nationwide among others slashing their fixed rates to under 3%.
The catch, and there is always is one, is that it will do very little for the housing market as most deals are aimed at those borrowers with a massive deposit and even worse, some are only available directly from the lender, not via brokers.
This part of the market was already well served with lots of good products hence why this new government initiative will have little impact unless the lenders push up the risk curve – not likely.
Government and initiative are two words that should be banned in the same sentence.
The networks seem to have been busy looking on the negative side of life with Openwork and Countrywide announcing cost cutting measures in light of the expected poor mortgage market in the second half of the year.
PTFS continues its shambolic running of a network with the highly respected Dev Malle throwing in the towel having had enough of the new regime and some unknown guy being dropped into to replace him in the same day.
Dev will be highly sought after and expect to see him rise up in the new year.
On a positive note it is nice to see Colin Snowdon back in the mortgage arena. Snowdon has done a lot for this industry and we can only hope he has an opportunity to bring his talents to the fore and make them felt from the tiny Saffron.
What may seem unusual to call positive is the departure of Jack Saxton from Halifax after 25 years.
Jack has done more than anyone in the industry to support brokers and is happy to depart Lloyds Banking Group for pastures new. I am sure he won’t be away from the industry for long.
So let’s hope this drab start to the summer picks up in August so we can all look forward to a vibrant start in September.