​Brokers respond to comments made by Money Box presenter Paul Lewis

by | Jan 16, 2023

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Following Paul Lewis of BBC Money Box saying “the way to get the best possible deal is to go to one of the big, national, independent mortgage brokers – don’t find a mortgage broker over the local cab shop in the high street”, free PR platform, Newspage, asked brokers for their thoughts.

Jamie Lennox, Director at Dimora Mortgages: “Paul’s comments reek of someone who’s extremely out of touch with the mortgage process and you would have to question when the last time was that he actually went through the mortgage process. Yet somehow he’s given a platform to say this kind of thing. We see countless clients come to us who tried big national firms but received poor service or weren’t able to be serviced at all as their circumstances weren’t vanilla with a capital V. A small local firm often has their name above the door and more often than not goes that extra mile to help their clients over a big national firm, which is often a soulless sausage factory.”

Scott Taylor-Barr, Financial Adviser at Carl Summers Financial Services: “I’m a self-employed mortgage adviser, with over 25 years’ financial service experience. I’m supported by one of the UK’s largest networks, which itself has won multiple awards. I’m diploma-qualified and part of the London Institute of Banking & Finance’s certified mortgage adviser scheme. I sit on the board of our trade body, the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries, and so give my opinion in meetings with our regulators and even HM Treasury. My assistance is sought by lenders and insurers to help train their staff and develop new products. I help to mentor new mortgage brokers. How exactly is being an employee of a “big national firm” suddenly going to make me a better adviser and give better advice to my clients?”

Paul Neal, Mortgage & Equity Release Specialist at Missing Element Mortgage Services: “Small independent brokers are the lifeblood of this industry, giving borrowers access to many more products than a lot of the bigger brokers. Why would a client want to go to a faceless company, rather than having a hands-on and personal approach that they get from a smaller brokerage? Also, why would you want to fund the next Range Rover of some fat cat CEO rather than help put food on the table of a small broker?”


Rhys Schofield, Managing Director at Peak Money: “Paul Lewis has got it dead wrong here. Why on earth is this dinosaur of a pundit not advising people to go online, search for a broker near them and talk to whoever has the best reviews and can actually evidence that they give a damn about looking after their clients, because I can tell you now that a lot of the corporates do not? This small broker has won four awards for being the best at what we do in the county, finalists for 14 other national awards with over 500 all 5-star Google reviews across our offices.”

Gary Boakes, Director at Verve Financial: “Having previously worked for one of the largest UK mortgage brokers in the UK, I can honestly say the service and quality varies massively from individual broker to broker. The majority are newly qualified and taught how to hard sell, and with limited panels and large fees you may not be getting a true value-for-money service. I can’t say that all independent brokers are the same and unfortunately our industry will always have its sharks, but the majority will take their time and listen to the customers and provide them with a quality service and give them a mortgage that suits their circumstances. For someone so high profile to say something like that is going to sow doubt in consumers’ minds and affect many smaller businesses that will be battling to survive this year. It’s painfully out of touch.”

Craig Fish, Founder & Director at Lodestone Mortgages & Protection: “I’m incensed with anger. Paul and the BBC need holding to account for the unsubstantiated comments he has made. He is worse than Martin Lewis. There’s something about that surname and incompetent journalism. Small brokers are far more inclined to offer a better service and far more likely find a better deal than a ‘factory’ outlet, which employs straight-from-school advisers with no ‘real’ knowledge of the market. Why do most ‘local’ brokers cut their teeth in a large firm first and then set up on their own? Because they know they can offer a much better service. Most ‘large’ corporates have a smaller panel of lenders than brokers who are part of a network, and we get access to exclusive products. I’ve brokered for over 20 years and never had a complaint. We often take on clients who have been let down by the incompetence at large firms.”


Imran Hussain, Director at Harmony Financial Services: “Having worked for a large national broker, they were not independent in any way, shape or form. The best advisers are typically those who run small agile firms and continue to advise clients, and care for them. For the large corporates, it’s almost always a numbers game and all about meeting sales targets. So really what’s better? Being a mere number for a corporate firm or speaking and dealing with a local business in your own hometown or city? I know which I’d go for.”

Justin Moy, Managing Director at EHF Mortgages: “Mortgage advisers choose to work in a number of ways. Some will choose to work in a small or larger company to share resources, many choose to work on their own when they have a lot of experience, and a base of clients to work with. It’s a shame that a commentator such as Paul Lewis has tried to suggest that those that work in the larger companies have more experience and products. So brokers with two months’ experience in a larger firm are better placed than a self-employed individual with 20+yrs experience? Most brokers have the same broad range of lenders and products, too. Though the larger corporates will always have a place, why not support the professionals who work in the industry, including the many small businesses that make such a difference?”

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