Exclusive Connections is to launch a network for intermediaries wishing to become appointed representatives.
The Peterborough-based packager will apply to the FSA in January for direct authorisation status for the network, to be named The Mortgage Union.
The Mortgage Union will operate as a national brand supported by EC's network of 35 regional offices. All its ARs will get the backing of an experienced compliance team and be able to place business through EC packagers. The brand will make its first appearance at the Mortgage Expo on November 18 and 19.
Patrick Day, managing director of EC, says: “For the many intermediaries who are still undecided about their future October 2004 represents a potential threat. But an appropriate strategic response can turn that threat into an opportunity.
“The Mortgage Union will provide a vehicle for intermediaries who wish to enjoy appointed representative status, whether they currently work through Exclusive packagers or not. They can join a professional, supportive mortgage network that is well set up to meet the needs of their businesses into the future.”
But Brian Lentz, principal and protection specialist at Hertfordshire-based Portfolio Insurance Consultancy, says: “There will be a huge rush of brokers joining networks mainly to solve the professional indemnity crisis and get cover quickly.
“But insurers are waking up to the fact that networks pose the most risk so appointed reps may eventually have to go for direct authorisation.”