Packagers clash over free valuations

Ramesh Sharma

June 1, 2004

The clash comes after em-financial announced this week that it is to extend its free valuations on non-conforming cases to the Scottish market. While its free valuations in Scotland apply to right-to- buy and remortgages only on non-conforming, the incentive applies to its entire non-conforming product ranges in England and Wales, exclusively revealed by Mortgage Introducer back in August.

But the offer has caused a backlash in the packaging sector. Vic Jannels, group managing director of AToM, said he is concerned that em- is sending out the wrong message to lenders.

He explained: “The problem is that if em- is demonstrating to lenders that it can carry the cost of these valuations, it is telling lenders they don’t have to pay it quite so much.

“This is likely to be music to the ears of lenders who are seeking to squeeze margins anyway. Therefore, this could be detrimental to the packaging industry. I am a fan of Roger Morris and his business model at em-, but there is a concern here.”

Roger Morris, managing director of em-financial, said its intention is simply to give clients value for money. “We’re only following what many lenders are already doing themselves by offering free valuations,” he said.

“All our lenders are supporting us on this. The only lenders that may think we’re overpaid are those that don’t see the value in what packagers are doing.”

Dev Malle, director of sales at Pink Home Loans, said the focus should be on what’s best for the client. He said: “We constantly work with our lender and broker partners to determine what the client wants. It’s not about what the lender or packager wants. The focus should be on providing the best possible products.”

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