Toni Smith

January 18, 2013



So all the shenanigans of Xmas and New Year is now out of the way we are back to the shenanigans of the mortgage market.

Let’s start with congratulations to Alison Beech for her deserved promotion to managing director of Valunation; Hannah Tasker for her new role at LSL; a heartfelt well done to Adrian Coles for his leadership of the Building Societies Association over the last few years and lastly a well done to the lovely Sarah Green for her new appointment at Crown (another one leaving the carnage of another firm behind, in this case HML).

Now to the odd moves. Hector Sants for his highly lucrative move to Barclays; Jessica Ennis on having the weirdest job title ever at the Pru; the escape by Kevin Paterson from Assurant and finally the appointment of Neil Hoare at PTFS.

So what else is 2013 likely to bring…

 More bridging lenders? Probably not many as this part of the market is now so crowded there are more bridges than rivers!

More Peer to Peer lenders? Highly likely. This is currently an unregulated part of the market but one that seems to have caught the imagination of investors and borrowers alike. You can expect to see more specialist P2P lenders emerge but the downside is that the rates of return seen by investors are also likely to get driven down.

More mortgage lending? Absolutely! The impact of the governments Funding For Lending scheme is working to drive down the cost of borrowing and increasing the volume of lending available. Other lenders who are not using this scheme appear to be increasing their appetite to lend as well. The only downsides of this are the reducing interest rates received by savers and the potential fall in lending when the scheme has ended in 2014.

More mergers/acquisitions? Yes the usual suspects, like Countrywide, are still keen to acquire businesses and have the money to do it. Whilst in 2012 we have seen the first increase in DA/AR firms since the credit crunch hit we are also likely to see increased consolidation into larger and larger groups.

All pretty positive then for 2013!

On a final note one of the best deals, I believe, this early on in 2013, which may have escaped your notice is the deal between The Lifetime Group and SPF Private Clients.

Both Messrs Paul Merrigan and Mark Harris should be congratulated for this deal as I truly think it will have a major positive impact on both businesses. It is one of those rare deals where you can see true strategic synergy in that both firms can learn and benefit from each other.

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