To respond to Michael Ward’s letter in Mortgage Strategy December 6, I wholeheartedly agree that this is just the start of the build-up of Network Data’s proposition for smaller brokers to join its network. The benefits on offer and the transparency of charges convinced 738 brokers to sign up prior to Mortgage Day.
The low number of ARs signed up by other networks must inevitably put a question mark over their commercial viability. I don’t think Enable would admit to having such a sub-critical mass but then it has the comfort of being cushioned by its majority shareholder, Skipton.
Ward talks extensively about Legal & General, presumably in the hope of earning a few brownie points from one of Enable’s major life providers. However, I don’t think a venerable institution such as L&G would welcome such negative publicity and the raking up of events earlier this year.
L&G had been on our life panel for a considerable time, and in meetings between the relationship managers earlier this year there have been enthusiastic talks about growing the business, a move into e-commerce, marketing initiatives and so on.
Then L&G took a sudden decision to terminate the relationship with Network Data in July. This was a few weeks after the launch of our ‘L&g it’ campaign, targeted at the smaller tied agents that L&G was discarding. These are the facts of the matter, and readers can draw their own conclusions as to the motivation behind L&G’s action.
The success of the L&g it campaign has been one of the contributory factors as to why Network Data is by far the biggest of the new mortgage networks.
Our ARs are self-evidently happy with our range of insurers and products. Unlike Enable, which offers a single product provider for household insurance, we offer a choice of insurers in all product ranges. Our life company panel will shortly be extended to include BUPA, Friends Provident, Liverpool Victoria, Prudential, and Royal Liver, making it one of the more extensive life panels on offer to brokers.
It is difficult to know what to say to Michael’s obtuse references to other issues and I cannot fathom why he penned his letter in the first place.