C&G may become a broker brand

Lloyds TSB isrumoured to be considering converting Cheltenham & Gloucester into an intermediary only brand.

Industry sources tell Mortgage Strategy that although no final decision has been made, Lloyds TSB is considering its future in the marketplace and realising it needs an intermediary only side if its business is to grow.

If Lloyds TSB was to drop C&G, it is not yet known whether it would rebrand or what products it would specialise in.

Carl Wright, managing director at Cartel, says that as a business strategy, Lloyds TSB has remained aloof from the intermediary market.

He says: “Lloyds TSB has never had any tangible distribution through C&G. With recent market changes it might have realised that in C&G it doesn’t have adequate distribution for the intermediary market.

“It needs a manufacturer and it needs a distributor that can generate further into the future.”

Andy Wilgoss, managing director at Square Mile Mortgage Finance, says he would welcome the move.

He says: “I rate C&G as a lender and like the way it currently operates with local offices. I also think it has its focus right.

“But it would be good to see it become more intermediary-focussed. I think it would work well as a intermediary brand as long as it continues to offer the competitive products it does at the moment.”

But Sacha Hardy, spokeswoman for C&G, says the rumour is simply market speculation and would not comment further.

Last week, C&G revealed plans to increase its administration services in India and says, following a successful move to process some parts of its residential mortgage applications in India, it plans to increase its capacity offshore to the tune of a further 300 jobs by the end of 2006.

The company has confirmed that its administration centre in Warwick will close by the end of 2006.