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Pointing out the benefits of a one-stop shop

Bankhall Point One

Bankhall Point One launched in October 2001 and is a subsidiary of intermediary support services company Bankhall Investment Associates. Point One is designed to be a single port of call for all an intermediary&#39s mortgage, non-regulated assurance and general insurance needs.

Bankhall Point One has a compliance team of over 130 and over 10 years&#39 experience providing regulatory support to IFAs as well as mortgage brokers. It is based in Altrincham, Cheshire (pictured above).

Q: How is Point One structured?

A: Point One is a subsidiary of Bankhall Investment Associates. The recent acquisitions of Premier Mortgage Services from Prudential and the Norwich Union Mortgage Club along with a strategic alliance with Paymentshield create a combined agency network for Bankhall of more than 43,000 advisers across all the trading organisations. The Point One and NUMC brands will be integrated into the PMS brand over the next 12 months. Combined control of UK mortgage lending will be in excess of £38bn.

Q: What sets you apart from your competitors?

A: Bankhall Point One was set up as a consequence of impending mortgage and general insurance regulation. Our vision is to offer a fully supported one-stop shop for mortgage and general insurance advisers.

We believe that direct authorisation is preferable to appointed representative status in the long-term and that true independence can only be achieved through going direct. While we think that most brokers will choose DA it might not suit everyone so at Point One mortgage brokers can join and benefit from AR status initially whilst at the same time receiving training and support to enable them to become directly authorised within two years. Following the established Bankhall model we offer a range of services to those firms that wish to remain independent as well as the benefits of outsourcing in areas such as compliance and training.

Q: What is your distribution strategy?

A: We market directly to brokers. The recent acquisitions and alliances have enhanced our distribution and service capability. Premier Mortgage Services has become the biggest mortgage facilitator in the UK since its launch six years ago. In 2003, PMS completed over £27bn-worth of applications which represented about 10% of the mortgage market. NUMC is the fourth biggest mortgage broker club in the UK, distributing mortgages through over 7,000 intermediaries and brokering almost £8bn of mortgage applications.

The Paymentshield alliance will allow us to offer its 16,500 registered agents compliance support to complement the range of general insurance products.

Q: What are the implications of the recent strategic developments for intermediaries?

A: From a PMS perspective, members will continue to enjoy their membership benefits but can augment these with the wider suite of Bankhall Point One services.

PMS will be available to the entire mortgage advisory arena whereas previously it could only be accessed by FSA-regulated entities. This develops the reach of the offering considerably and will enhance the leverage that can be obtained by scale. We also intend to offer deeply discounted access to its range of mortgage sourcing software providers as well as access to its back office IT solution. A guarantee on the scale of procuration fees available through Bankhall Point One will also be offered with recompense if a better deal can be sourced elsewhere.

The exclusive arrangement with Paymentshield means an unrivalled range of benefits to the membership and the acquisition of NUMC gives us access to a wider range of mortgage suppliers and takes us closer to our vision of a one-stop shop.

Q: What impact will regulation have on your business?

A: The winners post-regulation will be those that adapt, hence our aggressive approach to strategic development. There is no doubt, looking back on regulation in the IFA sector, that those who used it in a positive manner did not just survive but grew as a result. We will continue to provide such firms with services that both allow them to keep their independence and belong to a organisation that takes away the additional burdens of regulation.

Thumbs up or thumbs down?

Brian Ewing – Intellingent Finance

Bankhall Point One is to be applauded for having taken a proactive stance with regard to forthcoming regulation. Its recently announced initiatives have significantly increased its distribution capability. These, coupled with its strong record in providing compliance support, should give it the platform it needs to attract new business in a crowded marketplace. Having laid the foundations, the challenge now is to successfully market its range of service propositions. Based on experience of Bankhall, I think Point One will be up to the job and should do well in the regulated market.

Mark Lofthouse – Mortgage Brain

Established players like Bankhall find themselves exceptionally well-placed in the build-up to regulatory change. Bankhall is a strong brand in the IFA marketplace and has proved it can add value and deliver excellent compliance and support services through a knowledgeable team. CEOs Paul Hogarth and Simon Taylor have built a strong business and are clearly not content to sit back and watch the opportunities of mortgage and insurance regulation pass them by. They understand distribution is key and have addressed this issue. This plus their experienced compliance team should ensure success.

Jack Saxton – Halifax

Our dealings with Point One have always been positive. The service offered is great and I have always found the staff to be efficient and professional. Of course Bankhall is already a recognised force in the IFA market but recent developments show that this company is in no way complacent when it comes to the future. Distribution strength, compliance support and a consistent policy on its regulatory position have helped Bankhall Point One to carve out a clear proposition in the IFA marketplace and have set it up well for a prosperous future.

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