Accord Mortgages’s managing director has welcomed new entrants to the intermediary market, but stated this means lenders like his must raise the bar on service offered to brokers.
Charles Canning, who moved back into the role in December after Jill Evans left, said the wider Yorkshire Building Society group that Accord is a part of is investing heavily into shared mortgage services and infrastructure.
“We’re shifting from having underwriters behind case managers to giving brokers direct access to underwriters and making sure more of them have the necessary accreditation to deal with enquiries,” he explained.
In order to overcome what Mr Canning called the “dilemma of over-promising and under-delivering”, the intermediary lender is ramping up to have this set-up fully operational by the summer, with “other parts of the platform coming down the track” later in the year.
Mr Canning admitted that while YBS has the scale to do things like this, which smaller building societies might struggle with, he is realistic about their market share and growth.
“The market is already competitive on product and price, so there is not much room to manoeuvre, so I think service is going to be the platform to determine successful lenders over the next few years.”
Despite this, today (18 March) Accord announced reductions to residential rates by up to 0.13 per cent across its five-year fixed rate 90 per cent loan-to-value range, with a choice of incentives.
It is now offering remortgage customers a 3.26 per cent five-year fixed rate mortgage at 90 per cent LTV, with £845 product fee, free standard valuation and free standard legal fees.
There is also a 90 per cent LTV five-year fixed rate mortgage at 3.26 per cent with an £845 product fee, £250 cashback on completion and free standard valuation.
Accord also has a five-year fixed rate 90 per cent LTV mortgage at 3.44 per cent with no product fee - although a £130 application processing fee does apply - plus £250 cashback and free standard valuation for those buying a home, or free standard valuation and free standard legal fees for those remortgaging.
Oliver Marley, research assistant at brokers Independent James, said: “For a 90 per cent LTV rate, this is amazingly low, considering five-year fixed rates at 60 per cent at only as low as circa 2.25 per cent.
”That is only a difference of 1 per cent between the lowest risk and the highest risk cases.”