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Countrywide’s financial arm sees Q1 turnover rise

Turnover in Countrywide’s financial services division grew by almost a fifth in Q1 2012 compared with last year, its results revealed last week.

Revenues increased 19% from £12.3m in Q1 2011 to £14.7m this year. Countrywide has more than doubled the mortgages it arranged year-on-year from £800m in Q1 2011 to £1.7bn this year.

Its life insurance policies sold rocketed by 45% while its general insurance sales jumped by 28%.

Its results state: “We expect our buy-to-let volume to increase, reflecting both the rental market and our developing closer links with the lettings division.

“Our Mortgage Intelligence acquisition continues to move forward profitably, with Hurst Independent Financial Services and Slater Hogg Mortgages successfully moved to our Mortgage Intelligence network, reducing group costs.”

Capital Private Finance is also meeting expectations and is expected to lend more than £250m this year, averaging £140,000 of new business per month.

Countrywide believes the nine month old start-up, formed last June, will make a profit this year.

The financial services division outstripped overall growth of the group with revenues increasing by 15% to £122m.

Grenville Turner, chief executive of Countrywide, says: “Although the timing of a market recovery remains unpredictable, we will continue to invest and lay the foundations to capitalise on future valuable opportunities.”

There has been no change to provisions for claims against alleged inflated valuations since the firm increased the amount set aside by another £9.4m in 2011 to take its total claims pot to £20.3m.



Portillion closes down

Portillion has withdrawn its Financial Services Authority application and decided not to pursue becoming a mortgage lender.

Advised sales loom large

The MMR proposal on advised sales will result in huge costs for lenders in terms of training and resources, with small players being especially hard hit. So it’s no surprise they are against it and claim it will affect lending, says Paul Thomas


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