I have lost count of the number of times I have read about the impending death of the one-man band mortgage adviser.
There have apparently been numerous cliff edges over which these individuals were supposed to have falling off over the years pushed by most notably mortgage regulation (of all kinds), the credit crunch, the recession, dual pricing, compliance costs – the list goes on.
However, the one and two-man band firms continue to be a mainstay of our industry and this is something we rejoice in.
As a business which supports a significant number of one and two-man bands, be they self-employed or appointed representatives of our network, there is also much to be said about the nature of risk they do or don’t represent.
For example, we believe the smaller firm represents much less of a risk to our business model because we are able to easily supervise but also allow them the freedom to be entrepreneurial and to quickly take up the opportunities when they occur.
I appreciate this opinion is in direct conflict with a lot of our larger network competitors who, quite frankly, are not overly interested in looking after smaller firms.
There is one potential issue however for supportive advisory firms and networks given the growing positivity of the market and that is the fact that a number of one-man operators who were forced out of the market post-credit crunch may be thinking now is the time to make a return.
There is nothing stopping them from doing this and we will obviously be ‘in the market’ for quality individuals and yet we have to treat these individuals with no mortgage market history over the past four/five years with caution.
The market has changed a lot during that time and the risks for having advisers getting it wrong are much greater – those firms who are being approached by this type of returnee would be wise to conduct thorough due diligence before placing anyone under their umbrella.