Forrest returns to the market

The former managing director of High Street Home Loans has returned to the market with a credit management firm that could give brokers an income lifeline.

Gary Forrest, made redundant from HSHL last year, says his venture, Guardian, could provide brokers with a sustainable second in- come stream.

Guardian, a credit management firm, allows brokers to offer clients in financial difficulty the option of either temporary debt management solutions or individual voluntary arrangements.

Brokers have to key clients’ details onto Guardian’s online system and are then provided with a list of options.

If the system suggests remortgages or secured loans are appropriate, brokers will arrange them as normal and Guardian will receive no fee.

But if debt management or IVAs are the best option, Guardian will speak to creditors and process the arrangements.

Its products will feature different commission structures.

Forrest says: “When we started looking at credit management it was scary. There was no regulation, no compliance it’s like the Wild West. Nobody considered what was best for customers.

“Brokers have to evolve and can reinvent themselves as credit management advisers. They will give the advice and we will act as an administration centre.”

Brokers can access the scheme through various networks and packagers.

Solent Mortgage Services, GHL and All Types of Mortgages are already working with Guardian and Forrest is in advanced talks with several networks.

Forrest has recruited half of the employees from HSHL including all but one of its former BDMs. He’s already broken even with Guardian.

Sole broker Roy New says: “I have never had to advise a customer to go into debt management but I would look at Guardian’s proposition to see if it was relevant.”

Jonathan Cornell, managing director of Hamptons Mortgages, adds: “It is an innovative solution.”