Why Brokers will prosper and why one reporter is full of ‘Dan White’

Recently banks have been increasing the rates they charge clients and stating that they will (for the near future) concentrate on their existing clients in order to generate income for their shareholders. They have also (in tranches) cut brokers commissions, many opting to for a punishing 50% reduction (not so nice when you are on the receiving end may I add!). So now banks will make a higher margin on the money they lend, and juice the deal even more because now they don’t have to pay brokers as much, and brokers place over half of the residential homeloans in Ireland.

Some lenders have gone so far as to leave the mortgage intermediary market. The papers are touting that ‘Brokerage is an endangered species’, that we will face the same fate as travel agents. I would say that this couldn’t be farther from the truth and in today’s post we will look at the proposition of the direct model versus brokerage and why brokers will not only thrive but they will also increase market share whilst doing so.

Brokers for …

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Why Brokers will prosper and why one reporter is full of 'Dan White'

Recently banks have been increasing the rates they charge clients and stating that they will (for the near future) concentrate on their existing clients in order to generate income for their shareholders. They have also (in tranches) cut brokers commissions, many opting to for a punishing 50% reduction (not so nice when you are on the receiving end may I add!). So now banks will make a higher margin on the money they lend, and juice the deal even more because now they don’t have to pay brokers as much, and brokers place over half of the residential homeloans in Ireland.

Some lenders have gone so far as to leave the mortgage intermediary market. The papers are touting that ‘Brokerage is an endangered species’, that we will face the same fate as travel agents. I would say that this couldn’t be farther from the truth and in today’s post we will look at the proposition of the direct model versus brokerage and why brokers will not only thrive but they will also increase market share whilst doing so.

Brokers for …

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Lose your collusion… Irish Banks show just how little they care.

As George Bush once said ‘Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice…shame…well you’re not gonna fool me twice’. Banks however have done this and so much more in the last few weeks that how it’s not front page news has me flabbergasted! Are the Irish public meant to really believe the picture we are seeing unfold? Apparently so…..

Let’s look at the picture so far and put it in a time-line, then we can look at that time-line and try to discern if it was sheer co-incidence or opportunism that has lead to the moves in the market.

Tuesday 4th December: Ulsterbank cut brokers income by 50%, no explanation, and done by email. It would be laughable if it were not so serious.

Tuesday 11th December: PermanentTSB announce brokers income will be cut, to be fair they gave a lot of warning, because of the size of PTsb this action kicked off an industrial dispute, nobody cared about ulsterbank but PTsb was a market giant.

Then came the waiting game, to see what the result of the industrial …

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UBS write down €37 Billion, wait…How much is a billion?

When you hear people talking about ‘A Billion’ be it a Bank talking about a billion in write-downs, or a politician talking about a billion in tax spending, it’s important to put the number of one billion in perspective.

One Billion seconds ago it was 1959, one billion minutes ago Jesus was alive, a billion hours ago our ancestors were in the stone age eating raw meat and dying of common colds. A billion days ago there we were not walking on two feet. However in monetary terms a billion dollars ago was 8 hours and 20 minutes ago at the rate it is being spent by the US Government, it’s 5 days ago at the rate the ECB has been printing it in order to avoid the credit crunch and it is also almost as much as Sierra Leone’s GDP (at the official exchange rate), that’s for the whole country for a whole year.

So when UBS came out and said that it has ‘written …

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What is a mortgage broker? Why use a mortgage broker?

Today’s blog entry will be shorter than usual, because I have to leave soon to go to the annual MoneyMate awards for 2008, Irish Mortgage Brokers has been shortlisted for Mortgage Broker of the Year. The awards are kind of like the Oscars of the Irish finance world, it’s a time when all of the incredibly dull folks (like me) get to let our hair down and talk about things like APR and not have to be ashamed. Just kidding, it’s actually a savage craic shin-dig. We were shortlisted last year as well, and in fact I’m hoping that we can stop being the bridesmaid and become the bride this time around!

We have gotten a few queries lately from people asking about mortgage brokers and what we actually do, because I work in this industry for a living I was under the assumption (now proved to be false) that people knew what we do. I went out onto Lombard Street and asked a few folks, …

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What are the best mortgage rates? Mortgage Interest Rates explained.

What are the best Irish mortgage rates? What are interest rates and where do they come from? These are all good questions and in today’s post I hope to answer some of them.

Often I find that people call me and ask ‘what’s the best rate’ and then there is silence on the other end of the phone as they await an answer. The truth is that at any given time there is a ‘best mortgage rate’ out there, but normally there are restrictions surrounding it which inhibit the ability for most borrowers to avail of them.

We have come out of eight rate hikes which began at the end of 2005, and in an upward rate market people often feel that their old loan has become expensive, in fact it’s not necessarily the case that the ‘old loan’ is exceptionally dear, its that the rate market has gone up and therefore the cost of all loans has gone up, when we talk about the greater ‘debt burden’ that’s what we are referring to, because car loans, higher purchase, leases, …

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Ulster Bank, cutting out brokers, and perhaps Consumers too?

I guess the best thing to do is quickly outline the way things have worked since the inception of the broker industry in Ireland.

Brokers start their own companies and place business with larger companies, there are several types of brokers, some are tied (this means they only place business with one company) and independent – which is what Irish Mortgage Brokers are – and we have a panel of 15 banks and 5 insurance companies.

We have traditionally been paid 1% of the loans we send a bank as a ‘commission’ or income, so the client normally doesn’t have to pay a broker fee because the costs are covered by the commission. Brokers are paid because broker business (which counts for almost 60% of all mortgages done in this country) is a clean and profitable source of business for banks, they don’t have to pay for the brokers staff, their light, heat, holiday time etc. They do however have to pay for all of these things when a loan is done at branch level (e.g.: the loan is done …

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