Sesame in packager cull

Ramesh Sharma

April 1, 2006

Sesame has confirmed it is to lower the number of packagers it works with as part of a review into its dealings with the sector. The network currently has around 50 packagers on its books and is looking to bring this down to around 15.

The review had been undertaken through a questionnaire sent to packagers to judge their business, which Sesame claimed was aimed at helping them formulate a smaller panel that it was comfortable dealing with.

However, one of the criteria which packagers were asked about was whether they would be willing to pay to use Sesame’s services.

Terry Chamberlain, director at Finance and Mortgage Solutions, said: “These packagers were sent forms asking if they were willing to pay a fee to Sesame for each case that was processed, then, lots got kicked off the panel. It has left some of those that I have spoke to wondering if the issues are related.”

But Alastair Conway, head of proposition and commercial development at Sesame, insisted that the fees issue had nothing to do with which packagers are retained on the streamlined panel but was based on levels of business.

Conway said: “Part of the review was to look at the costs involved and how we could cover those costs and still promote our packagers. However, those that have been excluded have been so on volume of business done. Some of our packagers we were only doing one or two cases a year with and we were looking at creating an attractive panel for our members so this would not work. We have not discussed fees or future costs with anyone as of yet.”

Conway added: “We felt, on the back of regulation, we should reduce the number of packagers on our panel as it was difficult to monitor and track them all. We wanted better control as we felt we had such a diverse message, it was difficult for our clients to understand where we were coming from.”

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