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Sea Of Green


Sometimes, when sitting down to write these blogs, there is a news item which you feel makes much of what you planned to write seem pretty insignificant. The news that is filtering through from social media sites such as Twitter from Iran puts much into perspective.

Whilst we all battle with the mundane tasks of trying to earn a decent living, others are battling for basic human rights.

I know some will say you are not meant to mix these blogs with anything other than professional work issues, but I disagree. I have never been a conformist and for me the point of blogs is to be honest and speak about whatever is on your mind. I believe people appreciate honesty and want to be communicated with, rather than sold to.

Saying all this, perhaps I should question a few things. Like why are lenders rates really rising? My colleague Rob Gill has done an excellent piece on why the cost of funding has increased which you can read here, but can lenders really confirm the margins they are making on each deal. Brokers have to confirm the commission they make on a mortgage loan so why can’t lenders also detail it? Just an average will do.

Also, why do lenders not offer brokers the same products you can get directly through their branch network? In fact why do they even not like brokers introducing the business to them even without any payment? Is it so they can prop up an antiquated branched based system and cross-sell products without independent advice that may be more expensive than a decent broker could offer?

If you want to be really cynical, is it just a move by lenders to try to reduce the power base of brokers? As agents for our clients, we constantly question, demand better service, innovate and push lenders on our clients’ behalf. Try going direct to a lender like HSBC and many will complain about tedious levels of service.

Alternatively, as trust in brokers is high at the moment, whilst we all know where trust in banks is at, is this a way of trying to redress the balance? Accusing brokers of not recommending products we are not allowed to sell anyway?

I know I am playing devils’ advocate here, but sometimes it is hard to just blindly accept the “just passing the cost on gov” argument, and I empathise with the lenders more than the majority. I understand the issues they face and how hard many are working within these institutions to make things better.

Today, however, I feel like asking these questions, although they are insignificant compared to questions being asked in more serious situations.

Today, our thoughts are with all those battling injustice, and especially with the family of Neda Soltan, the young women shot for no apparent reason.

So today, maybe stand up for something you believe is right, challenge something you have not had the guts to challenge before, question those who you believe are doing the wrong thing, give those in authority you believe are not acting for the greater good a hard time, respectfully of course. You may just find it liberating.

Today, we are all Neda.

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