ARs can be among Friends

Friends Provident has launched its network proposition for mortgage brokers seeking appointed representative status from Mortgage Day.

From May 1 2004 the company will act as principal for brokers joining its distribution network taking over responsibility for non-regulated product advice and compliance requirements.

The package will include block professional indemnity cover for network members and an extensive panel of mortgage lenders.

Simon Clamp, director of UK distribution at Friends Provident, says: “Friends Provident is offering quality ARs the support they would expect from a major company.

“ARs have always been an important part of our distribution network and we already have the experience of managing the regulatory responsibility for them.”

The move follows 12 months of research into what intermediaries are looking for leading up to Mortgage Day, with Friends Provident also preparing a proposition for brokers seeking direct authorisation from the FSA. No costs have not yet been finalised.

The firm is also planning extensive changes to its mortgage club, Friends Mortgage World, including extending its mortgage panel, adding specialist providers, creating a general insurance panel, and creating an online support facility.

Simon Chalk, director of Mortgage Portfolio Services, says: “Any new entrant creates more competition which is good for the market but I think it will have its work cut out next to Legal & General and Norwich Union who pretty much have the estate agency mortgage market tied up.”