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Turnover up by a fifth for Countrywide’s financial services division

Turnover for Countrywide’s financial services division grew by almost a fifth in Q1 2012 compared to last year.

Revenues increased 19% from £12.3m in Q1 2011 to £14.7m this year on the back of last year’s purchase of Mortgage Intelligence.

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 also jumped by 28%.

In its results the firm states that the availability of deposits is the key issue and predicts a flat year of gross lending.

It also believes the remortgage will continue to grow this year after seeing a 40% increase in customers changing deals so far in 2012.

It states: “We also 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 and 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: “Despite external factors, significant financial and operational progress will continue across all parts of the group coupled with strong cash generation and investment when the appropriate business case is made. Although, the timing of a significant 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 the level of 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.

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  • Peter Smith 27th April 2012 at 11:21 am

    With a small lender panel, massively expensive insurances and extortionate in-house legal services? What is the world coming to……