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Towergate acquired John Charcol from administrators

Ian Darby, CEO of Towergate Financial, has revealed that the company acquired mortgage brokerage John Charcol through the administrators Grant Thornton last night.

Speaking on a conference call this afternoon, Darby confirmed that money has changed hands on the deal but could not confirm how much Towergate had paid for the brokerage.

He says that the opportunity for Towergate to buy John Charcol first arose eight days ago.

John Charcol’s staff, assets, brand, customers and services were acquired by Towergate overnight last night.

But Darby did not confirm whether all of the brokerage’s liabilities were part of the deal.

Mortgage Strategy revealed earlier today that Towergate Financial, the financial advisory business of the Towergate Partnership, had acquired John Charcol.

Under the terms of the deal, all John Charcol staff and directors will be making the move to Towergate Financial.

Darby says it will also be reviewing John Charcol’s single-tie protection arrangement with Legal & General.

It emerged this week that a separate company, John Charcol 2010, has been listed on Companies House.

The firm was incorporated on February 2 and its certificate of incorporation lists Tracy Lee Plimmer as company director.


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  • ysjwzpys 17th March 2010 at 3:17 am

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  • Christina 26th February 2010 at 4:42 pm

    What does it matter how the deal was done, the deal has saved in excess of 60 people from loosing their jobs and salary for the month they have worked, people are too quick to be critical and stab the knife in, why not just be pleased that there isnt more of your colleagues in the mortgage industry lining up in the queue of the unemployed, good for Charcol and long may it continue.

  • Jeremy 25th February 2010 at 4:42 pm

    The independent broker would survive by giving fee paid independent advice. If the collusion between lenders the FSA and Its the “whole of market” free advice sector was gforced to give honest advice. It forces advisers to lie to clients to push proc fee paying deals to meet sales targets. We all know it costs the client £100`s if not £1000`s and any lender or regulator who is naive enough to believe this type of advice gives the client the TCF “outcome” they deserve should be sacked immediately. Its fraud and we all know. Clean up everyones act and good independent advice would survive and flourish.

  • Richard 24th February 2010 at 12:00 pm

    What goes around comes around! The independent mortgage broker is alive and kicking and your business is a s good as you make it. If anyone doesn’t want their database let me know, I’ll have it, complete with all its lipstick pigs!

  • jonathan burridge 24th February 2010 at 11:26 am

    The deal must include the business liabilities otherwise the FSA will surely come down hard as this would then smack of a pheonix. That said, they have managed to keep the brand and staff together and that is no mean feat.

  • jonathan burridge 24th February 2010 at 11:25 am

    The deal must include the business liabilities otherwise the FSA will surely come down hard as this would then smack of a pheonix. That said, they have managed to keep the brand and staff together and that is no mean feat.

  • narinder singh 24th February 2010 at 10:38 am

    Here’s a good logo for a t shirt for us brokers


  • Martin Jackson 24th February 2010 at 8:48 am

    Anonymous wrote; …too many chiefs and big salaries to pay….the winners in this will be the smaller outfits 3-5 advisers.

    I think the intermediary mortgage market is dead without the reappearance of the specialist lenders (high street with support of FSA have got it in for brokers). Anon is right though, if the intermdiary does survive, it will be the lean small operations that do it and not the big brokerages.

  • Ian Denny 23rd February 2010 at 7:42 pm

    There is nothing on Companies House web site to say they had gone into administration!!!

  • anon 23rd February 2010 at 6:57 pm

    Such a poorly managed company. Good riddens.

  • Bobby 23rd February 2010 at 6:19 pm

    Its looking more and more like the clever brokers were the ones that got out 2 years ago not the ones hanging on and getting into massive debt in the hope it will change. We get platitudes from trade magazines saying ” you will proser when it gets better ” but will it ?. The FSA and lenders want brokers eradictaed from the marketplace. The FSA want half a dozen big banks and a non advised, execution only tick box marketplace that takes any responsilbility from them or the Banks. Its much easier to regulate and the banks have everything in house to flog all the insurances and pay no proc fees. That is the marketplace we will have in 2012 make no mistake. The lenders like Abbey and their insulting e mail to brokers about fast track and the FSA’s aggresive and direspectful attitude to brokers shows the future. Also if lenders are responsible for the mortgage post 2012 why have brokers anymore ?. The FSA impose stringent and time wasting form filing to brokers which serves no purpose to anyone except to justify their jobs and let Banks the biggest culprits of the credit crunch and complaints get away with no compliance. The whole thing stinks and is corrupt. The FSA let the greatest crash since 1929 occur on their watch and then award themselves with big bonuses and then go after the broker who has no trade body to support them. Hector Sants is then seen sailing into the sunset no doubt with a big pay off with the FSA saying what a great job he has done whilst sipping the FSA embossed bottled water. You couldn’t make it up !.

  • Derek 23rd February 2010 at 6:19 pm

    they got rid of the only part of the company that made any money – CharcolOnline, illegally sacked the cheap mortgage advisers in Brighton and kept the same old boys management – no surprise to anyone who has worked for them that this happens – just a surprise they lasted for so long

  • Bemused 23rd February 2010 at 5:43 pm

    Charcol is a very big brand with no earning potential behind it. With the amount of money it has burned it the last ten years it would have been cheaper to pay all the stay at home for the entire period. Not a criticism of the staff, but it is a business model that just doesn’t work.

  • Colin 23rd February 2010 at 5:15 pm

    Andy, I disagree, the independent broker will survive but the juggernauts of Charcol etc are not geared to cope with the new market……too many chiefs and big salaries to pay….the winners in this will be the smaller outfits 3-5 advisers. Joe Public will rather see a broker on a reco than go to the bank to be interviewed by some oik!!!!!!

  • Shame 23rd February 2010 at 5:01 pm

    Not good. But at least Darby and Garfield have done very nicely in the ownership recycling programme and hopefully this latest intervention will enable the brand to survive.

  • Andy 23rd February 2010 at 5:01 pm

    As an ex-John Charcol adviser (like quite a few people in the industry) I’m genuinely saddened to hear this news. Without Ian Darby’s Charcol connections I very much doubt anyone else would have stepped in to save the company. It’s an almighty fall from grace and if this can happen to another one of the big boys and the self proclaimed “independent mortgage experts” then it really does hammer home the point that the days of the independent mortgage broker are numbered. I agree with Anon 4:52pm – another 12 months of a stagnant mortgage market coupled with RDR/MMR will complete the cull and bank based mortgage advisers will rule!

  • colin 23rd February 2010 at 4:52 pm

    yes indeed, Mr Boulger has been somewhat quiet of late. This market shake out still has some legs to run…….those that can survive 2010 will be well placed to reap the rewards of 2011 onwards. At this rate the advisers count will be less than 10,000…..a 66% cull in numbers

  • Mark Sutton 23rd February 2010 at 4:42 pm

    I agree – I didn’t know that Charcol was in administration someone had kept that quiet! Perhaps explains why Mr Boulger has been quiet of late.

  • colin 23rd February 2010 at 4:40 pm

    whats all this about then ??…..the great John Charcol was about to go down the pan ???……..another mess that poor brokers who are awaiting case to complete may lose out on!!!!!!!!

  • Charlotte Hubner 23rd February 2010 at 4:40 pm

    As Obama once said, it’s like in a pig in lipstick. Dress it up anyway you want, it’s still a pig

  • adrian 23rd February 2010 at 4:31 pm

    Sorry, i can’t help myself Colin, but where have you been the past 3 years? IF they were in receivership, of course the FSA wouldn’t know.

  • colin 23rd February 2010 at 4:24 pm

    from administrators ??..wasn t aware in was in receivership ?…that seems to have flown under the radar. Does the FSA know ??

  • colin 23rd February 2010 at 4:24 pm

    from administrators ??..wasn t aware in was in receivership ?…that seems to have flown under the radar. Does the FSA know ??