Pink Home Loans and Direct Life & Pension Services (Enable) are to combine their two mortgage and insurance networks.
Both owned by the Skipton, the aim is to provide enhanced benefits to the membership of both and to create management efficiencies in the running of the groups network services.
The combined network will trade under the banner of Pink Home Loans Network with Pink Home Loans providing the mortgage expertise.
The merged network will have a combined total of 160 firms, though this is expected to grow to around 200 firms in the new year.
Enable will have responsibility for the delivery of the protection proposition for all appointed representatives across the enlarged business.
Since Mortgage Day, there have been a number of rumours that the two Skipton owned networks would ultimately merge. With the number of networks post regulation grossly out of proportion with the small number of ARs, consolidation in the market was seen by many as inevitable.
The merger will produce one of the largest networks in the mortgage market.
Tony Jones, managing director of Pink Home Loans, says at the beginning of regulation the number of networks in the market numbered around 69. Just over 12 months on this figure is now down to just 23 and he expects this number to further halve over the next year.
He says: This move will bring significant advantages to members of both Pink and Direct Life. Pinks experience in the mortgage market and Direct Lifes Insurance expertise will mean we have an even stronger proposition to offer to existing and prospective ARs.
At a time when ARs are expressing disappointment with networks service, Pink network ARs can be assured that they will receive a five star service.
Michael Ward, managing director of Direct Life, adds: This really will be one of those situations where one and one equals more than two, particularly from the perspective of the networks ARs.
“Much has gone into building both networks, which in the early days were quite dissimilar, but with the passing of time both networks have become increasingly similar in their approach to insurance, mortgages and the use of technology.
“Today we start the hard but important work of managing the integration which we are certain all the ARs involved in will benefit from.