Mutuals providing vital post-MMR balance

Sarah Davidson

May 14, 2014

Gemma Harle is managing director of TenetLime

There seems to have been a wave of doom and gloom in the immediate wake of the MMR, with pessimistic forecasts about rates, approvals, prices and service delays.

Don’t believe all you read though. Things are not that bad.

Indeed, one sector of the market looks set to experience a genuine boom period.

I’m referring to mutuals and the clear indication that they becoming determinedly more supportive towards the intermediary sector.

The Coventry have long been the champions. No-one else seemed particularly interested.

Now that seems about to change, with a number of small-to-medium societies – including The Leeds, Principality and Teachers – making a clear commitment to the intermediary market.

There are tangible signs that they’re re-aligning their BDMs and putting dedicated telephone-based teams in position. And as the majority are funded by retail products, they are able to offer greater flexibility around their products.

They do not have the marketing power of the larger lenders however, so brokers need to invest some time getting up-to-speed with their criteria and familiarising themselves with the respective field teams.

Be mindful too, that due to their scale, they are not always in the lead on servicing. Nor do they always appear top for sourcing systems, due to their bespoke products – so make a point of finding out what their USPs are, such as unique underwriting criteria, or bespoke products for sectors such as new build or professions such as education.

Their success will help give vital balance to the mortgage market and avoid it being dominated by the larger few. But more are needed, as they may hit their targets quickly and pull products accordingly.

So embrace them into the fold, as the more volume and spread we get into the market, the better it will be. By doing so, you will be playing a part in creating one of the more beneficial consequences of the MMR and giving your customers access to finance for the home of their dreams.

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