West Brom pulls broker BTL deal

Ramesh Sharma

February 18, 2006

With effect from 10 February, West Bromwich withdrew its BTL 4.79 per cent fixed rate, fixed until 31 March 2008. Last Friday it was available through its direct channel only. West Brom explained this also means the rate used for standalone rental cover has been increased to 4.99 per cent – its next lowest buy-to-let product pay rate.

David Hollingworth, mortgage specialist at London & Country, said: “This is a double whammy for brokers. West Brom has made its lowest BTL rate direct only. Because it bases the rental calculation on the lowest rate in the range it looks like the intermediary sector will lose out not only on the rate but also on the rental calculation.”

Paul Marland, general manager, intermediary sales at West Brom, said: “We like to give notice of any product withdrawals and give at least two working days notice to brokers and at least 24 hours for them to get cases in after the product has been withdrawn from the sourcing systems.”

“We are aware that pulling this product means the rental calculation goes up. But when swap rates are right, we will probably launch a product to match the 4.79 per cent deal,” he added.

Rod Murdison, proprietor of Murdison & Browning, commented: “Lenders have to make decisions in order to increase profitability. This is understandable. But what I don’t like is the idea of having different rates through the direct channel and different rates through brokers. It just shows lack of support for intermediaries. What is sauce for the goose has to be sauce for the gander.”

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