In his latest weekly update to ARs seen by Mortgage Strategy, Griffiths says Network Data has received approaches from six interested parties and a shortlist of two large financial services firms has been drawn up.
The email states that Network Data is in “intensive discussions” over the transfer of Network Data and MBSL ARs to rival networks, with the financial and practical aspects of the deal still to be hammered out.
In the email Griffiths states: “I can confirm that both shortlisted parties are large financial services companies that have the necessary funds to complete the deal and look after the best interests of you as an AR.”
Griffiths does not disclose who the interested parties are due to London Stock Exchange rules but goes so far as to say that the winning bidder for both networks will settle commissions that are due.
Griffiths adds: “With regard to the payment of all commissions due to ARs, this remains a priority and it has been agreed that these monies will be settled in full by the successful bidder for the businesses.”
One network boss, who declined to be named, says the proof of the pudding will be in the terms of the final deal.
The source says: “If it is a carrot in that if you move you will get paid and if you don’t you won’t, I’m not sure ARs should be held to ransom like that.”
John Cupis, managing director of mortgages and general insurance at Sesame, says the implications of any deal will be hard to gauge until the terms are known.
He adds: “A bidder for any part of the business will need to acknow-ledge that outstanding commission payments are due to advisers and go into any deal with their eyes open.”
One former Network Data AR says any firm bidding for the businesses will need to look at an accurate picture of AR numbers.
They say they left the network three months ago but are still listed as a Network Data AR on the Financial Services Authority register.
Meanwhile, a source close to the situation says negotiations are ongoing and the implications for commissions have yet to be finalised.
Griffiths adds in his email that the FSA has been kept informed of all developments.
He also expects the selection process between the two interested parties to be finalised within the next two weeks.
Griffiths was unavailable for comment as Mortgage Strategy went to press.