Picture plans broker offering

Picture Financial is preparing to re-enter the intermediary sector after stepping up its knowledge of the broker market.

The prime secured loans lender pulled out of the broker market in April last year due to lack of profitability. Although its main source of business is dir-ect sales, it still accepts business through brokers on a lead-only basis.

Julia Dallimore, marketing director at Picture, denies it has permanently withdrawn from the broker market and says it is getting back on track and plans to bring something new to the market in the next three to four months.

She says: “We were struggling in the broker market which is expensive compared with direct business. But we are committed to it and plan to come back with products that offer value and are different from those available at the moment.

“We have not left brokers high and dry and still accept business through them on a lead-only basis.

Gerry Lafferty, sales and marketing director at Access Broker Services, says Picture is likely to be welcomed back to the broker market provided its products are good.

But he adds: “It’s a mystery why it pulled out at such short notice. It says it has reviewed its products and the market, but lenders can normally do that on an ongoing basis. We feel let down.”

Although Picture has not set a date for re-entry into broker distribution or disclosed the types of products it will be launching, it says it has been conducting research into payment protection insurance and commission.