The Association of Mortgage Intermediaries (AMI) has called for the accelerated implementation and launch of the banking proposals announced by the Government earlier this week, after releasing a grim first economic bulletin for 2009.
"If big lenders' choose to favour their branch networks, the intermediary share could be less than half of the £145bn that is available to be lent," says Robert Sinclair, director of AMI.
"During this period, the long term need to put consumer interests first, and value their desire to consult an intermediary, must be respected by lenders.
"Alternatively, lenders risk inflicting a mortal blow on distribution. Sub-prime, self-cert, buy-to-let and lending on new-build homes are all traditional intermediary product areas and these are all going to be very weak. 2009 is going to be a lean year." Sinclair adds that the new range of Government initiatives would certainly help the situation, but admitted it was still very unclear just how effective they would be, and how quickly they would make an impact.
He continues: "Recent Government announcements need to be given compelling priority and their implementation accelerated if we are not to see the situation worsen before it gets any better.
"Consumers value and trust the advice given by intermediaries on their mortgages. The banks need to ensure that they continue to fund and promote this sector as much as their own branch networks, which can only provide consumers with part of the picture."IFAonline
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