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Intermediaries play a key role, including with product transfers

Mortgage intermediary conversing with a customer. House models are on their desk

The intermediary mortgage sector started 2024 in better health and with more confidence than a year earlier. It’s heartening to see our market recovery has been underpinned by intermediaries. The most recent data from the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA) predicts mortgage intermediaries’ share of lending will keep rising this year from 84% to 89% and expects it to top 90% in 2025.

Drilling down into the data further we find residential lending accounted for around two-thirds of intermediaries’ business, with Buy to Let about a quarter and specialist lending around 8%. Within residential lending there was a slight increase in the proportion of product transfers.

What does this tell us? Quite simply that intermediary advice is fundamental in the UK mortgage market. Over the past few years, when applicants have faced challenges which they may not have encountered before, intermediaries have been vital in guiding them to the most suitable mortgage solutions available.

However, this doesn’t mean any recovery will be at the expense of intermediaries; the data indicates that even in times of economic improvement, borrowers still recognise the importance of independent advice.

The product transfer market continues to grow with brokers on average advising and arranging many more product transfers than they did three years ago. Intermediaries will be at the front of the queue to correct any misapprehension that product transfers don’t require any work or time on their part; the reality is that advising on a product transfer (or a further advance) requires largely the same process as a standard case. While they may not take as long as a remortgage to another lender, they still take time and effort, and it’s only fair this should be acknowledged.

That’s why at Bank of Ireland, we made changes to fully recognise the hard work and important role intermediaries undertake in supporting clients with product transfer and further advance applications. We increased our proc fee for product transfers and further advances from 0.25% to 0.30%.

Of course, while a fair proc fee is important, intermediaries also want and deserve to deal with an efficient process for product transfers and further advances. That’s why we’ve recently made a significant investment in our online platform to improve the servicing capabilities for intermediaries and their clients.  Improvements include the new ‘Working With Us’ hub which delivers access to resources required for every stage of the application process.

In addition to this we also now allow customers to book product transfer rates up to six months before the end of their current deal, so clients can be reassured that they’ll seamlessly transfer to a new product well before their existing deal ends. At Bank of Ireland we acknowledge brokers are a fundamental part of the recovery and ongoing support to customers. We’re here to help them navigate the coming year.  To view our new working with us hub and find out about a product transfer or further advance with Bank of Ireland for Intermediaries visit