The Association of Mortgage Intermediaries (AMI) says it hopes advisers and brokers will continue to be at the heart of Abbey's business plans after its owner Santander announced plans to merge the company with Alliance & Leicester (A&L).
Spanish bank Santander, which bought Abbey in 2004, said it has agreed a deal to buy UK lender A&L for around £1.26bn and immediately revealed it planned to combine the two businesses.
Chris Cummings, AMI director general, says: “Abbey is one of the lenders that has continued to support intermediaries during difficult times in the mortgage market and we are sure this will continue to be the case after any deal is secured.”
The proposed merger of the two former competitors has raised questions of consumer choice in terms of the consolidation of the market. It has also raised fears of job losses.
“The industry and the regulator will need to ensure that these questions are answered during the takeover period,” Cummings says.
But the AMI says it is confident the deal could lead to a stronger industry which “will ultimately benefit customers”.
“This potential deal represents positive news for the UK mortgage market,” Cummings says. “It is pleasing that a global player, like Santander, is willing to invest more capital in the UK at this time.
“It should provide much needed stability for the marketplace and a reassurance about the strength of the mortgage industry in this country.”
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