Government urged to speed up HIPs plans

Ramesh Sharma

January 14, 2006

With HIPs set to go live in June 2007, brokers have admitted their confusion at the proposal, stating they are unsure of exactly what to include and how to implement the packs.

Since the launch date was announced brokers have been angered the government has provided no further information. Mark Glithero, managing director at Lexicon, said: “What is to stop the government changing their plans? I would be very unhappy if they did that as at the moment I am ready to go with the HIPs proposal. But as there is no set model I don’t quite know exactly what to do. The government needs to push the proposal so that we can set up a plan of action.”

“I don’t want to double my surveying staff to find out that the government is going to ditch the idea, like it did with SIPPs,” he added.

Glithero also dismissed the government’s plans to complete a nationwide voluntary HIPs scheme prior to their launch. “Why would people selling their house opt to be involved in a dry run? It doesn’t make any sense to do a voluntary scheme, because people will obviously avoid it if it is going to cost them more money.”

However, Rob Clifford, managing director of Mortgageforce, reminded brokers that unless they act now, estate agents could be looking to take their share of the mortgage market. “I can see brokers looking for guidance to ensure they are fully aware of the implications and how estate agents may look to increase their share of the market, although I guess many consumers would not be interested in buying a mortgage from the person that is essentially acting on behalf of the seller,” he said.

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