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L&G and MT partner up to bag 15% market share

Legal & General can lay claim to a 15% share of the mortgage market as it formalises a trading partnership with the UK’s biggest mortgage network Mortgage Times today.

Mortgage Times will remain a separate network regulated by the Financial Services Authority, but all mortgage business originated by the 560 appointed representative firms in its Vision network and the 3,000 users of its mortgage club will be paid via L&G Mortgage Club.

In 2008 Vision saw between £4bn and £5bn in completions. L&G completed £18bn worth of mortgages in 2008 via its mortgage club and its AR network Legal & General Partnership Services.

Together the firms had mortgage distribution totalling between £22bn and £23bn in 2008 and expect to have a market share north of 15% in 2009.

Ben Thompson, director of mort-gages at L&G, says: “There are many mutual benefits to this partnership, and there’s a clear commercial understanding between our companies.

“We are effectively providing certainty to the mortgage club side of Mortgage Times’ business, allowing it to concentrate on building other activities such as its network proposition.”

There have been a number of complaints from Vision’s ARs that they are having problems getting paid.

But Payam Azadi, marketing director at Mortgage Times, says this is primarily because at the height of the boom it could pay brokers before it received payments from lenders. But once the credit crunch hit, this was no longer possible. The new system will see ARs being paid by L&G but under Mortgage Times’ banner.

Azadi denies rumours that the partnership will lead to big job losses at Mortgage Times and says it has been managing staff flow for the past year.

He adds that Mortgage Times remains committed to a multi-tie protection offering and ARs will be able to manage all com-missions through the new business hub it launched on March 1.

Azadi adds: “What we’ve tried to do is keep our independence but bolt on the most comprehensive proposition in the market.”

The white-labelled payment deal with L&G will not involve either a fee to L&G or payment to Mortgage Times.

Azadi adds: “This deal is not about putting money in our pocket – it’s about the proposition, the timing of payments and putting money in brokers’ pockets.”

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