May 16 – New Partners

As we see a swathe of new offerings coming to market from a range of new lenders, brokers are going to have to up their game to keep abreast of all the new offerings. In coming to market however, these lenders are having to make some difficult choices, both in terms of the types of product they want to offer, and also who they wish to offer them through. As they have limited scope and scale in the early days, they will want to pick a limited number of distribution partners. However, this inevitably means that some brokers and their clients will not have simple access to these products although they might be suitable.

This conundrum of how we deliver effective product distribution is a debate that needs to be had. Whilst other markets such as cars and white goods it appears acceptable to have distribution deals which do not always work entirely in the consumers interest, the world to financial services regulation might require a different standards and duty of care.

When a competition lawyer or economist looks at us from the outside without the benefits of our legacy knowledge, the agreements between lenders and intermediary firm, could be seen to not always allow rounded access to products to all consumers, therefore seen as unfair. I think there is a good rationale for the way both lenders and brokers approach distribution, but the limitations of supply and demand may need to be well rehearsed before the end of this year.