Experts say there is a future as new rules come into force.

Mortgage Payment Protection Insurance (MPPI)

Mortgage payment protection insurance (MPPI) has been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons over recent years as it is associated with mis-sold policies, there has been a great deal of speculation about its future. Efforts have been made to disassociate MPPI, which offers great value and protection to many consumers from the mis-sold PPI scandal. Experts believe there is a future for the sale of this product and the new rules that have come into force this month support this.Read More

Mortgages fees increase as brokers feel the pain of lender’s strategies!

As the payment shock for many borrowers continues with high SVR’s, lower interest rates on mortgages are often not what they may seem. It has been reported that the cost of ‘arrangement fees’ charged by lenders and associated with buying a mortgage, have increased by as much as 30 per cent over the last three years, however, the mortgage broker sector are experiencing a decrease in the fees paid to them by lenders for introducing borrowers causing more pain. There seems to be only on winner!

Losses for mis-sold PPI need to be made up, but who pays?

With huge losses for banks in particular to make up following one mis-sold financial products scandal after another; feelings are running high amongst many within the financial services sector about the strategy being used to balance their books. Sceptics believe that the provisions made for PPI claims by some banks will never reach all of the victims for which the funds are intended. So who will pay for these forecast losses? It would appear that borrowers will.

What is the ‘true cost’ to borrowers?

Expectations were high when the good news sunk in relating to a sustained all time low bank base rate; forecasts are that this may continue for a while yet, however, has this been reflected in the ‘true cost’ to borrowers? The simple answer is no. Low interest rates now often attract high arrangement fees. Borrowers who are lucky to be offered a loan need to consider the true cost; if this fee is added to a loan and interest-only terms apply, the true cost of a loan can be high, sometimes it is better to take a higher interest rate with a lower arrangement fee. Making this clear and understood by borrowers is difficult; always look at the ‘true cost’ of a loan over the period in which it is borrowed. It should be found in the small print.

Are lenders squeezing the life out of the mortgage market?

With mortgage brokers experiencing lower procuration fees paid by some large lenders, also aggressive marketing attempts to attract borrowers into buying direct from lenders, reports about the demise of brokers continues, we may see the life squeezed out of the mortgage market. This could lead to the return of increased volume, niche lending at higher cost to those who do not qualify for the ‘cherry picked’ client profiles wanted by lenders who are reluctant to lend.

Is mis-sold PPI swept under the carpet as Diamond receives £17m?

As shareholders are recommended to vote against Bob Diamond’s £17 million plus pay packet, many consumers may feel aggrieved that mis-sold PPI policies sold by Barclays are seemingly swept under the carpet as they continue to wait for redress.

Following last years High Court judgement, 20th April, dismissing the action brought by the British Bankers Association relating to redress for PPI claims, Bob Diamond announced on 9th May that Barclays would not be joining an appeal application against the judgment, this was welcomed. He said, “It was in the best interests of our customers. Barclays will assess and address their complaints as quickly as practicable.”

Did Barclays get it wrong with PPI claims?

Ironically, Diamond did not preside over mis-sold PPI in the UK; however, the initial provision agreed with the FSA of £1 billion is believed to be wrong and is under review. Many believe that Diamond wants to move on and rightly so, but you can’t take the helm of a troubled ship and sweep the waves out of your way. Many PPI claims are still being processed and consumers will inevitably be in a long queue.

Is a ‘DIY’ PPI claim the best way to proceed?

Most banks find themselves in a similar position to Barclays, some joined them in their decision to make a provision for redress, these include Lloyds Banking Group (£3.2b). Large claims management companies (CMC’s) are known to work closely with banks to ensure claims are processed efficiently on behalf of claimants. Statistics prove that the majority of consumers use a CMC to process their PPI claim, suggesting that if the DIY route is considered by consumers, it could prove to be a minefield for many.

Hayley’s Meeting & Greeting @ the Wolves Foundation

As the relationship strengthens between Gladstone Brookes and local charity the Warrington Wolves Foundation, our staff have been offering their help and support wherever required. Hayley Mcateer describes her recent visit to the Wolves’ rugby ground for “Meeting & Greeting”.

My name is Hayley and I work within an investigation team here at GB.

The Warrington Wolves Foundation have setup a new scheme, “Meeting & Greeting”, which would be a handful of volunteers to be around the Halliwell Jones Stadium a couple of hours before kick-off at our home games to make sure that the incoming crowd are all happy.
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Hayden’s Helping Hand

 My name is Rebekah Cooke; I am a manager here at GB. I currently manage the investigation aspect of claims to ensure our clients receive the PPI response they deserve.

Earlier this year my close friends Linzi & Alan had a baby boy; Hayden Brown who was born thirteen weeks early in February 2012 weighing 2.9lb.

Hayden was taken into the Neo-Natal Unit at Royal Preston Hospital to rest and recover however Hayden sadly passed away at just 11 days old.

As Linzi is a very close friend of mine, it was devastating to hear that she and Alan had lost Hayden, when just a few days before I arrived with Hayden’s presents discussing his health and future plans.

Linzi & Alan have a very close network of friends around them & a supportive family. The only real comfort Mum & Dad have is Hayden’s knitted blanket made by his Grandma. This was with Hayden in his incubator when he was at his best and when he was at his worst, because of this Linzi wants every little boy or girl that arrives at Neo Natal to experience the same wrapped up comfort.

Gladstone Brookes wanted to help raise awareness and encourage people to knit blankets for premature babies 40cm X 40cm.

Not only did Gladstone Brookes raise awareness, they have also made a very generous donation to Neo Natal Preston Hospital where Hayden received his care. This made Linzi & Alan very thankful and offered some comfort to them at this sad time.

I feel very proud to work for Gladstone Brookes and I felt it was more than necessary to show my appreciation with this blog.

To read the fully story of Hayden and all the great work being done in his name, please visit Hayden’s Helping Hand website.

T-shirt Making… Again!

Due to the success of their previous t-shirt making class at the end of 2011, Gladstone Brookes were called back to the Foundation! GB employee Sian was part of the team and she shares her experience with our blog.

My name is Sian Lloyd-Jones and I’m a Claims Co-ordinator at Gladstone Brookes. My job role involves me taking inbound calls and responding to e-mails from clients wanting to proceed with a PPI claim.

I was offered a great opportunity by Gladstone Brookes to go to the Warrington Wolves stadium to help on a t-shirt making class, arranged by one of my colleagues. I was very excited to meet the children and to offer my help and support to everyone who attended the class. This was a chance for me to introduce myself to the class, as it is my intention to share some of my dancing skills with the young children in the near future in the form of a dancing class.

The aim of this class was to create t-shirt designs with most of the children wanting to represent the Wolves. Logos were designed by the children that they created from their own knowledge, alongside the famous Wolves logos. The children also had a choice of using different coloured paints, pens and materials ranging from glitters and diamantes to sequins. Everyone had a really good time working as a team and sharing different ideas to represent Warrington Wolves.

“Everyone had a really good time working as a team and sharing different ideas to represent Warrington Wolves.” – Ray Sharples

After meeting the children and getting to know them they told me they had also done the same genre of dancing as me and we discussed previous competitions, events, etc. I enjoyed this as we all worked to help everyone complete their t-shirt making. I told some of the children what I was looking to do for the Foundation and everyone seemed to be interested and are looking forward to the dance class.

Overall I had an amazing time representing Gladstone Brookes at the stadium. I think it’s a fantastic idea for Gladstone Brookes to host events and classes at the Warrington Wolves stadium. I enjoyed helping and sharing my ideas and I would love another opportunity like this to hopefully get a class of my own organised.