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Its not AR numbers, but profitability that counts

I would like to clarify the exclusive published in Mortgage Strategy October 18 2004.

I don’t entirely agree that there will only be a handful of networks that survive – indeed I’m of the opinion that there is plenty of room for networks large and small.

My network has about 250 members. Some would class that as small. Fine, but it’s profitable and that’s all that really counts. Being large and losing money is not going to be any good in the longer term.

The point I was making was that there is a difference between existing networks (call them IFA networks if you want) and the new mortgage networks that started because they foresaw a market of 10,000 mortgage brokers needing homes. It’s the latter that have a problem.

The Whitechurch Network has openly said that in terms of a sales campaign the number of members we got on board could be described, at best, as poor, but the few we got have increased the overall numbers we have.

However, if I was a new mortgage network I’d be rather worried if I had a membership matching the sort of numbers that I managed to get – there’s small and then there’s really small.

It’s a pity because you would have though that spreading all those mortgage brokers around into old and new networks alike would have created a nice balance and helped competition.

Let’s wait and see. As I said in my last letter there will no doubt be a hard fought post-regulation battle as firms start to realise whether their initial move was correct.

Ian McIver
Managing director
The Whitechurch Network
Bristol
By email

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