Kevin Duffy on Santander: The girl that finally danced

Mortgage Introducer

January 9, 2017

Kevin Duffy is managing director of Mortgageforce

Almost 20 years ago, when I could actually touch my toes and I still had hair (see the photo above!), there was a pretty girl who always got on and off at my commuter station.

It took me a whole year and three clumsy attempts to ask her out but finally she relented. I wore her down.

The time is nigh for a rate rise

Six months later of course I got the big kiss-off but this tale now puts me very much in mind of Santander ‘s belated decision to finally adopt a progressive product transfer (PT) policy. I could bore readers with at least a dozen collateral observations about this potentially game-changing event. So I’ll limit it to five for now.

  1. Congratulations… to AMI, the trade press and indeed brokers at large. Who had clearly begun to (compliantly) de-select Santander for fear of losing their clients. Especially so on large loans. The lender itself may never admit that its Q3 and Q4 traction with brokers was regressing but it surely was, especially where the broker’s recommended mortgage comparison for his client was a marginal one between say Santander and Halifax / Virgin / Woolwich / Clydesdale / any retention-paying lender. But this episode proves that a few hundred brokers in a £240bn pound market can actually move the dial. And relatively quickly.
  2. Can this all be monetised for us to see it’s potential value? If the sector’s PT’s in aggregate is as much as £100bn (largely unreported) then what value should we place on Santander’s pot, and more intriguingly that of the other as yet unconverted lenders? Over to AMI and my mate Ray Boulger for some encouraging fag-packet analysis please…?!?!
  3. So. Nationwide, Coventry, Natwest… what do you reckon guys? Can any of you really risk being seen as the LAST one to offer retention fees – and in doing so be labelled forever and a day as the laggard who waited until the very end before doing so? Because like it or not, this is the label that awaits the last lender to move with the tide (personally, I’m pretty certain just who will be the last, if at all, BTW).
  4. Furthermore. If a lender chooses not to see the commercial acumen and analysis that will have surely underpinned Santander’s timely conversion, might such a lender now have to either price extremely competitively, or take a ride up the risk curve to make up for the inevitable hit it will now take to its expected applications (and so soon after its 2017 sales targets will have been validated)?
  5. And lastly. How do I get the odious Vladimir Putin to assist me with some discreet cyber-spying inside the walls of L&C’s Bath fortress? Where clearly other ‘pilot’ schemes are routinely trialled.

(On a serious note, well done and thank you to messrs Cartwright and Bunton… you obviously played your part in making this happen.)

There is a Spanish saying which goes like this… Bailar es Amar (to dance is to love).

So. Muchos Gratias senors Sard y Fordham. We got you dancing. But lest certain critics forget, some of us do still remember that the the lender who saved much of our bacon back in 2009 and 2010 with its unstinting support… was Abbey .

So we all owe it to you now to support you generously with non PT business. Not least because you have got a party started at which no forward-thinking lender will want to be absent and it’s entirely possible that come December, the year’s most seismic event for brokers occurred back on January 9th.


Enter your e-mail address to receive updates on this topic straight to your inbox

* indicates required
Send me news alerts on: