In some markets, lenders provide finance through brokers or agents. This is particularly true in the motor finance market. More than half of consumers choose to buy their new cars though dealer finance using, for example, hire purchase (HP), conditional sale or personal contract purchase. In this case, the dealer is usually acting as a credit intermediary for the motor finance lender.
In the non-motor sector, there are a variety of options to take credit in store. These include instalment credit, HP, conditional sale and store cards, where the shop's retail staff are the credit intermediaries.
The relationship between lender and agent or broker is based on partnership and, under the Consumer Credit Act, the lender is responsible for the conduct of the intermediary.
Finance companies and retailers or dealers usually collaborate closely, for example, on training and IT systems.
But there are also independent credit brokers, who you can approach to find you a mortgage or a loan, or if you run a business, they can find asset finance for your investment needs. Credit brokers operate in the secured or unsecured credit and leasing markets. In the leasing sector they are often seen as an extension of the lessor’s sales force.