In brief

Ramesh Sharma

April 22, 2006

The Society of Mortgage Professionals (SMP) has launched the first phase of its Job Role and Competency Framework. The Framework has been launched to support people working in the mortgage sales and advice arena. It is designed to help organisations and individuals determine what knowledge and skills are required to perform successfully in the work environment as well as achieve regulatory compliance.

Quest provides eSurvey software

eSurvey Ltd has licensed Quest Associates’ DataWeb software to provide its integrated electronic end-to-end processing of mortgage valuation instructions and reports.

Using Quest’s DataWeb, eSurvey will provide a range of web-enabled services allowing integrated electronic processing of residential valuation instructions for Irish lenders, mortgage intermediaries and valuers.

Variable rates grow in popularity

With swap rates at their highest level since May 2005, West Bromwich BS has said variable rates will become more popular.

James Taylor, mortgage product manager, said: “Strengthening economies in Europe and the US, combined with Brent crude futures hitting a record $71.40 a barrel and continuing concern about Iran’s nuclear ambitions, have conspired to worry traders and force swap rates to their current high levels. Although this will feed through in terms of higher fixed rate mortgage deals, the good news is that variable rate products will remain unaffected.”

AMI celebrates third birthday

The Association of Mortgage Intermediaries (AMI) celebrated its third birthday. Since its establishment in April 2003, AMI has grown significantly and membership now stands at approximately 18,000 advisers.

Rob Griffiths, associate director of AMI, said: “Our members’ drive and support for AMI has been fundamental in achieving key results. AMI will continue to play a critical but constructive role within the mortgage regulation process offering insights from the ‘front line’ of the intermediary mortgage market.”

CII reports record year

The Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) has reported 2005 was the most productive year in its 109-year history.

The CII revealed revenues rose to a record £26.8 million, up 18 per cent on 2004’s total of £22.7 million. The CII has also examined its defined benefit pension scheme deficit in full by closing the scheme to future accruals, in addition to a cash injection of £3.5 million during 2005. A further £1.5 million in Escrow funds, if needed, were made available.

SPML enhances market proposition

Southern Pacific Mortgage Limited (SPML) has enabled all members of Mortgage Intelligence (MI) to submit cases directly to SPML.

This provides brokers the opportunity to submit cases through the MI packaging desk, or direct to the lender. SPML has confirmed all cases submitted from MI members will receive a £99 valuation fee and free legal costs for customers.

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