17 June 2009

The music's stopped....all change at Lloyds!

12/06/09 - You may have seen the news this week regarding the Lloyds Banking Group reshuffle. When Lloyds took over HBOS, the newly created group had many differing brands, so it was only be a matter of time until a review of their market offerings was undertaken. At the time of writing this column, we have heard that the Cheltenham & Gloucester branch network is to be closed in November 2009 and that they will concentrate purely on business via mortgage intermediaries. With circa 160 branches nationwide, some in close proximity to Lloyds TSB, Halifax and Bank of Scotland branches, this is no real surprise. Birmingham Midshires, Cheltenham & Gloucester (intermediaries) and Scottish Widows will continue to have a strong presence in the mortgage intermediary market, with Halifax offering both intermediary and general public products, we believe. What this means for you, the consumer, is a wider variety of options when looking for your new mortgage with each brand understood to be targeting different areas of the mortgage spectrum. This is also great news for the mortgage intermediary market and product options available via mortgage specialists, such as AToM, should be sought when reviewing your requirements.
Having recently seen that Abbey, Alliance & Leicester and Bradford & Bingley are to be renamed under their parent brand, Santander, these are clear signs that condensing brands and fine tuning offerings are the way forward. Cost cutting is apparent and any recently seen green shoots, now appear to have no roots.
However, profit is key and we may well see some very competitive and attractive mortgage products to kick start the ‘all new’ brand looks. What is for sure is that these moves show the Lenders faith in mortgage brokers and intermediaries and for that, at least, we are eternally grateful! Now it’s your turn to do the same!

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