FSA HIPs forecast under scrutiny

Angela Faherty

June 17, 2006

With the implementation of HIPs less than a year away, many brokers have admitted they do not currently have any plans in place for the launch, despite research conducted on behalf of the FSA by KPMG revealing, ‘HIPs will boost intermediary business.’

The supporting documents for the research however, indicated HIPs are only a ‘significant boost’ if brokers establish ties with estate agents, who many view as a source of competition.

The FSA stated: “Estate agents with in-house financial services capability will benefit, as well as intermediaries with introducer links to estate agents. High-street brokers will lose business. Lenders won’t move into HIP space.”

It also admitted HIPs were ‘a watershed event. They will increase the elements of control in estate agents’ hands and increase conversion ratios from the current figure of 25 per cent of customers to mortgages 50 per cent’.

Benny Higgins, chief executive of HBOS said: “Estate agents will be a big factor in the HIPs market, but there’s an issue of trust. HIPs are also an opportunity for brands to be influential.”

Mike Lloyd, head of sales at Mortgage Bureau (UK), argued more information was needed before the industry geared itself up for HIPs. He said: “With interest rates rising and properties taking longer to sell I can’t see how HIPs will help, or boost, business. A better system would be to make a home buyer report compulsory for purchases, but until we have more information I don’t think brokers will be looking into the HIPs market too much.”

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