Charcol to retain mortgage broker focus

Charcol will remain a specialist mortgage broker rather than expanding into other areas of financial advice, but says it will refer business to an investment adviser.
It also says it has no plans to become a national brand and will instead keep its focus on the South-East.

The plans are part of a major restructure of the firm following its sale last week by Bradford & Bingley to a team backed by Advantage Capital, including entrepreneur Jon Moulton and Charcol founder John Garfield.

Mortgage Strategy secured an exclusive interview with Garfield, now executive chairman and active chief executive, just hours after the deal was completed at 6am last Wednesday.

Garfield, who co-founded the business 30 years ago, is bullish about Charcol’s future, and intends to be personally involved.

He says: “I will be absolutely hands-on, that’s my style. I intend to set up the culture, set the scene and make a myriad of changes pretty quickly.”

He adds: “Charcol has enormous potential. It’s good to be back and I’m really looking forward to the future. I intend to get Charcol back to the position it was in before.”

Peter Barrett, former managing director, retail at Bradford & Bingley, has been appointed managing director of Charcol. He believes Garfield embodies the entrepreneurial spirit that has made Charcol so successful.

Barrett says: “John is enormously passionate and knowledgeable about the business. He is not treating this just as a straight investment, neither is it a fleeting opportunity to be associated with Charcol again.

“We are in it for the long term. We both want to take Charcol forward and have got great ideas. It’s going to be an exciting journey.”

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