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Gerry O’Brien confirms there will be no contract tie-in

Gerry O’Brien, chief executive officer has spoken exclusively to Mortgage Strategy Online and confirmed that appointed representatives will not have to sign a 12-month contract that ties them into the new firm.

Mortgage Strategy had earlier been sent an email by somebody claiming to be the network’s press spokesperson saying that ARs would be tied in, but O’Brien says this will not be the case.

He says: “The contracts will be the standard contracts and they will not differ from the old ones apart from a variation of the FSA authorisation number.”

He says brokers will only be required to sign up to the new network for three months as was the case in the old contracts.

Yesterday Home of Choice confirmed that it’s in advanced talks with LSL Property Services about acquiring the business and this will result in the network going into administration while it’s bought.




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The imminent election is being described as the closest for two decades, but how similar are the main parties’ housing policies? Stamp Duty seems to be on everyone’s agenda. Originally it was a Conservative plan, but now Labour has announced in its pre-election Budget that first-time buyers buying property under £250,000 would be exempt from […]

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Pensions: trouble ahead?

The pace of change in the pension’s space has been little short of astonishing, and has left thousands of employers struggling to keep their pension policy compliant, and also on the right side of current best practice and governance. Many employers, and indeed many in the pensions industry itself, would like to see a period of no change during the next term of government. This would give all sides a chance to catch up and draw breath. 


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  • Disgruntled AR 8th May 2010 at 12:30 pm

    I thought that as HoC have been placed in administration, albeit temporarily, that the original contracts now cease to exist?

    If it was simply a case of LSL buying over the existing contracts then they should be able to pay us without us signing any documentation.

    Seeing as that is not the case, I would assume that we are still free to leave without seeing out a 3 month notice period? Especially given the fact we’ve not been paid?

  • Angry HOC AR 7th May 2010 at 7:53 pm

    We are in contract with a Ltd company which is in administration therefore the contract is null and void.. No 3 month notice period, just the same if you went into insolvency the contarct would terminate immediately

  • HOC AR 7th May 2010 at 7:05 pm

    Angry HOC AR | 7 May 2010 6:57 pm

    I did not say the money would be in our accounts without having to sign. At the end of the day, no matter what, you are still in the contract which LSL have bought over, therefore 3 months notice. Just sign the piece of paper, there is no change to the contract. Get paid ur pipeline then if you want to leave then fair enough give your 3 months notice – SIMPLE! I know they have messed us about over the last 2 weeks, but magaing a company I sort of understand where the the guys are coming from, not that I agree, but hey thats life…only way forward is to crack on with what we do best!

  • Angry HOC AR 7th May 2010 at 6:57 pm

    Why do you have every faith in them ? Remember 2 weeks ago the BACS transfer problem?? Last week ‘you will all be paid by this Friday’?? This week ‘all monies owed will be paid this Friday’ ??
    If you think all the cash paid to us will be in our bank accounts on Monday without having to sign a new contract / authorisation / transfer document (call it what you want) you are living in cloud cuckoo land

  • HOC AR 7th May 2010 at 6:48 pm

    Anonymous | 7 May 2010 6:41 pm

    By the looks of things, they were waiting for confirmation of the deal being done which has now been confirmed. I have every faith that the money owed to us will hit out account on Monday. If not , then fair enough, I was wrong, but I am pretty confident all will be well.

  • Angry HOC AR 7th May 2010 at 6:47 pm

    If you read the statement carefully you will note that LSL bought HOC from the administrators therefore HOC Ltd can no longer cary on FSA regulated business. If they were still operating then we would all be getting paid the money thay owe us.

  • David Roberts 7th May 2010 at 6:41 pm

    HOC AR comment 6.29 pm If this is the case then WHY is our money not in our bank accounts NOW?

  • HOC AR 7th May 2010 at 6:29 pm

    The deal has been completed with LSL which HOC have confirmed. There is no new contract to be signed. This is purely a change to our authorisation. The contract is exactly the same as it was with HOC. WE are still in our HOC contract (i.e. 3 months notice to leave and still liable for all clawbacks). LSL have bought over the contract, therefore just a change in authorisation. In order for LSL continue with the HOC brand, they have had to take on the liabily with the insurance companies, but leaving behind the liabiliy of the bank. Surely this can only be good news – So lets just get the head down and do what we do best – SIGN UP THE BUSINESS!

  • David Roberts 7th May 2010 at 6:25 pm

    Hi Mark,
    Announcement saying we can start submitting new Biz yeap!! no announcement about payment owed???

  • Mark Thorpe 7th May 2010 at 6:07 pm

    Announcement made – next must be the announcement about our money owed……..

  • Concerned HOC AR 7th May 2010 at 5:41 pm

    I can only assume that the deal with LSL has hit some sort of snag, as this should have been announced well before now. This is now becoming a joke!! I reckon that the snag is exactly as someone mentioned above, people who don’t sign the new contract re-brokering their business with a new network with no liability on the clawback, why would LSL leave themselves open to this?? I’m reading all the comments and trying to come up with a viable reason but can’t, we’ve been lied to and continue to be lied to… much of this treatment can we take. Answers from the HOC board immediately please!!!

  • David Roberts 7th May 2010 at 5:37 pm

    Hoc/Ar I think??
    The purchase of HOC must be viable due to its network of genuine competent ARs and the amount of new business that is wrote, which we are told is second to none in our industry. If what you have bought is this on mass, would you not want to ensure that the Sales force are kept sweet so as they will continue to produce now and in the future without upset? The way that this is being handled beggars belief why can’t someone offer us a gratia payment to keep us sweet and solvent and writing new biz,meanwhile sort out the legals FSA.We kept working whilst the board looked for an investor its the same isn’t it???

  • AR HOC 7th May 2010 at 5:00 pm

    What’s going on here? We were told at the meeting in Northern Ireland yesterday that the contract with LSL is signed and there would be an announcement today.

    It’s now nearly 5pm and there’s been no announcement to the Stock Exchange and it’s now closed. Plus there’s still no sign of the contract that we are supposed to sign.

    We were told the contract would be out to us this moning and we could sign them and get paid.

    Gerry O’Brien stood up and acknowleged that the communication had been badly handled and that it wouldn’t happen again yet less than 24 hours later he’s at it again.

    Look forward to another weekend of anxiety.

  • HOC AR 7th May 2010 at 4:25 pm

    Any further infomation would be appreciated. Has anyone actually signed these new contracts. If so have you been paid? Any info on clawbacks? Does anybody know if the supervision fee and PI charge is still being added to their accounts?

  • Eddie Tweedie First Choice Finance Scotland HOC AR 7th May 2010 at 4:19 pm

    To all that attended the Radisson Glasgow today, as promised I would update you all re the £6,321 I am owed by HOC. Despite an initial promise by Mr O’Brien that the cash would be in my bank without the necessity to sign ‘the piece of paper’ there has not been a payment by HOC, Mr O’Brien or in fact anyone else into my business bank account.
    I will therefore again ask the question ‘WHERE IS MY MONEY’. The money that was paid for work carried out by my staff and I and paid to HOC on April 2nd by Scottish Provident. On several occassions Mr O’Brien stated ‘The money is there’. When will we be paid our cash and what conditions if any will be attached.

  • Concerned HOC AR 7th May 2010 at 3:15 pm

    Does anyone here know definitively whether or not the ARs of Home of Choice will be liable for any clawback from life providers?

    I am looking to move to another network but would be rebroking my life policies, along with those of friends and family if I move.

    This is in essence to cover a portion of the money I have lost in the mortgage pipeline as I refuse to sign a new contract.

    However, if I then become liable for the clawback that could affect me being able to move, but I don’t want to sign over my client bank to Home of Choice / LSL.

    Any help is much appreciated.

  • Trevor 7th May 2010 at 2:33 pm

    Paul Rymer states that we should just sign the contracr, my response to Paul is this. How can we not be negative when the contracts still have not been issued so we still await the money we repeat we are owed.

  • paul rymer 7th May 2010 at 1:26 pm

    Instead of wasting your time on all of the negitive why don’t you all turn it to a positive, sign the contract with zero changes as issued previously, get our pay as due and look to the future.

    I don’t know how my BQM manages to stay positive but she does and is a great sounding board I am staying and I really hope that she does and she gets paid what she is worth which is million dollars as she is such a big benefit to my company

    All businesses have peaks and troughs and I guess this is just one of them, some positive thoughts may be good after all we are all business men and life is not always a bed of roses.

  • To Joe Sprado 7th May 2010 at 1:07 pm

    You should be so lucky that people are calling you I cant see you any where on the tables probably some sole trader who thinks he is gold dust doing £25k…!!!!

  • paul rogan 7th May 2010 at 12:25 pm

    I would say don’t trust them. I am with positive Solutions and we also have directors who are only interested in lining their own pockets and creating jobs for the boys. Direct is the future. HOC directors are failures who have misspent your monies.

  • John Reid 7th May 2010 at 12:04 pm

    DS I agree – Directly Authorised is not as scarey or as expensive as you are led to believe. I have sat with a few BDM’s from various networks over the years listening ot their fee scale and telling me its so much more expensive being Direct and I have brought the proof out and laid it infront of them how they were blatantly lying to me as our fees were cheaper. I even attended one of the very well orcastrated HOC recruitment events being told the same lies as everyone else… We have been directly Authorised since regulation started and at the end of the day – all of our clients are ours and always will be, all of the renewal fees when we stop work are ours unless clients cancel policies… The Mortgage regualtions are not too onourous just follow the guidelines and you will be fine. Most of it is actually common sense and you are doing it every day anyway. FSA are not as Scarey as we first thought. We considered moving to appointed rep at the beginning of this year however looking at costs again we were cheaper staying DA and we are now very glad we didnt as one network we considered was HOC.

  • John Reid 7th May 2010 at 12:00 pm

    DS I agree – Directly Authorised is not as scarey or as expensive as you are led to believe. We have been directly Authorised since regulation started and at the end of the day – all of our clients are ours and always will be, all of the renewal fees when we stop work are ours unless clients cancel policies… The Mortgage regualtions are not too onourous just follow the rules and you will be fine. Most of it is common sense anyway. FSA are not as Scarey as we first thought. We considered moving to appointed rep at the beginning of this year however looking at costs we were cheaper staying DA and we are now very glad we didnt as one network we considered was HOC.

  • Joe Sprado 7th May 2010 at 10:28 am

    Good news on the contract, this means I wont be getting any more calls from other networks trying to recruit me with pointless financial advances that are interest bearing land have 3 year lock in.

    Check the small print lads if you are being pitched.

    I will stop where I am as its a faster route to my money.

  • DS 7th May 2010 at 9:21 am

    Look guys, this is happening to AR’s all the time. How many networks have gone belly up in the last twelve months ? Why do you not consider going directly authorised . I know a number of AR’s who have suffered but they only look for another umbrella to shelter under and never consider anything else. The only benefit I see from becoming an AR is to hide from the FSA and have somebody else looking after your compliance. Surely professional advisers can do this themselves . In the past we have been approached by at least three networks who subsequently have gone under. We count ourselves lucky for maintaining our D.A status.

  • Richard Smith 7th May 2010 at 7:11 am

    As brokers of this Network we all made a choice to be here. We still have that choice. What I heard today my meeting has completely removed any fears I may have had. For those of you thinking about jumping ship – remember those recruitment predators out there (who write most of the anonymous comments on here) who offer you money and security are actually offerring you an interest bearing loan and a 3 year lock-in! To be fair to HOC the new contract is no different to what we have now. I am staying in a Network with an honest contract delivered by honest people.

  • AR HOC 6th May 2010 at 11:52 pm

    Really confused! Specimen contract amendment state LSL taking the assets of HOC but not the liability. As the commissions would have been swallowed by the overdraft the money been paid once contracts amendment is signed must be coming from LSL purse. If LSL are not taking on the liabilities, including future clawback on policies issued pre-administration – who is? If the new amendment to contract is not signed, 1, is the adviser free to walk without notice, 2, without liability for clawback. If there was future clawback for pre-LSL business where does the provider go (HOC Administrators?)
    If new contract amendment is signed apart from the 3 months does this tie you tpo pre-LSL clawback that you might not otherwise have?
    Answers on a postcard. And if you are part of a big firm and have contacted solicitors – their contacts details for confirmation would help.
    So if an amendment is not signed the liability of the

  • HOC Believer 6th May 2010 at 7:26 pm

    I wish I was Richard Coulson in disguise anonymous 5:33 – at least then i wouldnt be here worrying about my modest pipeline, I would be off on a beach with my £300k pay cheque!!

    Not suggesting anyone was singing HOC praises. as I said the meeting was disappointing. It was the Staff, in particular the regional directors and BQMs who deserve praise. If it were not for them I doubt I would stay.

  • UPDATE 6th May 2010 at 7:18 pm

    so i have now had this email about signing the new contracts i take it they are refering to the one sent out in Decmber that no one seems to have signed…i wonder why not…is it the PG;s now in there or client ownership and not been able to contact your own clients if you leave or may be its the clawbacks if you leave…be careful be very careful what you sign…you are clearly been taken for idiots here!!!

  • Good luck everybody Im off 6th May 2010 at 7:07 pm

    What a fiasco this has all turned out to be…!!!
    Gerry said this morning he has been asked to stay he should have the dignity and leave along with Coulson they no longer have any credability.
    lets see what these documents look like we have to sign.
    I understand some AR’s are lodgeing CCJs against the board for monies owed lets hopw they get struck off for incompetence by the FSA
    Bad Boys Bad Boys what you gonna do what you gonna do with your head in the loo !!!

  • Anonymous owed to 6th May 2010 at 7:00 pm

    As an ex AR in the termination phase, waiting for my 6 months to finish, I wonder what chance I have of seeing this money? It’s great to offer existing registered brokers their cash but what if you can’t sign like me? I can’t even sign if I wanted to. Any thoughts?

  • mike DAVEY 6th May 2010 at 6:27 pm

    Dear Johnny @ 5.27pm

    Well done! just seeing if anyone was awake!!

  • HOC AR 6th May 2010 at 6:26 pm

    Yet another HOC contract to sign. Once bitten twice shy.
    Show us the money!!

  • Dean Duncan 6th May 2010 at 5:33 pm

    RE 4:02PM

    I too was at the Birmingham meeting today, and I didn’t see anyone singing HOC’s praises, and if so why are you Anon? Are you Richard Coulson in disguise, are you Coulson in disguise?

  • Dean Duncan 6th May 2010 at 5:28 pm

    RE: 4:02PM
    I too was at the Birmingham meeting today, didn’t see anyone singing HOCS praises! If so, why stay anon, are you Richard Coulson in disguise?

  • Johnny 6th May 2010 at 5:27 pm

    Hamelin, I think you’ll find Anonymous 5.20pm

  • Bob 6th May 2010 at 5:23 pm

    Taking sides, the supporters and the realists. This is almost identical to what happened with Network Data & Mortgage Times. Too much uncertainty, lot’s of misinformation, too many loyal AR’s hanging on for their money. What a mess. Good luck.

  • Mike DAVEY 6th May 2010 at 5:20 pm

    Believer 4.02pm.
    The Pied Piper of Hamlet comes to mind !!

  • Fernando Torres, HoC AR 6th May 2010 at 4:49 pm

    So, Gerry says there will be no tie-in on the contract. On the assumption that LSL will put HoC into administration to try and write off the debts, they still have to pay all the brokers all the money we’re owed (ie. a LOT), and leave themselves wide open to brokers leaving in droves the minute we get our money. I still think there must be a catch – i can’t see why LSL would buy into such a fragile situation.

    The burning question is this – what happens to any future clawbacks? Does the buck stop with the administrators? Or would LSL then become liable for clawbacks? If we move to another netowrk and re-write any protection business, will we get chased by the provider/administrators/LSL?

    I still think there’s more to all this than meets the eye – I just can’t swallow the idea that we all sign an identical contract to our existing one and we get paid, and everything’s hunky dory.

    Come on HoC, tell us the full story, and soon!

  • John Reid 6th May 2010 at 4:41 pm

    FYI – The directors of Home of Choice emoulments from their accounts posted on Companies House to 31st March 2009 was over £780,000…. one got paid over £257,000. The overall debt increased by nearly £300,000 also. How can they take so much money out when they need to bring money in to fund the company? Looks like total debt is around £7,000,000 thisis not the clawback this includeds around £5,000,000 in loans and overdraft. They paid out £617,000 in interest alone in 2008/2009.

  • HOCAR 6th May 2010 at 4:24 pm

    AR 3:54pm
    We were told the same thing yesterday and that we would have the new contracts yesterday and once again…..well nothing! Agree with anon 3:49pm why do we keep being told LIES when if they dont know themselves just tell us that!!

  • Off Elsewhere Home of Choice AR 6th May 2010 at 4:05 pm


    Does that mean we won’t be getting bullied into signing new contracts again, we won’t be lied to and told there are problems with BACs payments, we won’t be told we’re in administration, no we aren’t, yes we are.

    Does anyone seriously imagine that LSL would take over our failing HOC, leave themselves open to about £7,000,000 in clawback liabilities and keep running it in the same way hoping that for some reason in the middle of the worst recession since the 1930’s it will now start making money.

    Stop and think.

    The money they are bribing you with is yours!

    If you sign the existing contract with the new owners and it doesn’t work, they will keep 3 months income off you, you will have agreed that your clients are actually their clients and you are liable to get sued if you contact them once you leave.

    Don’t take my word for this, don’t take anyones word for this other than a solicitors. Spend a couple of hundred pounds getting any proposed contract checked out before you sign it.

    It just might save your business!

    I’ve been taken in before by a big smile, comforting words and empty assurances with Mortgage Times, but not this time!

  • HOC AR & believer! 6th May 2010 at 4:02 pm

    Anonymous 3:41
    You are well off the mark re your “bunch of failures” comment. I’ve already commented on how great HoC staff are on these forums and will continue to stand up for them. I was at the Birmingham meeting today and I have to say while the content was a bit disappointing because we still have no closure the HoC staff continue to be fantastic. Yes the directors have made a right pigs ear of the communications but I don’t really have much exposure to them as I deal with the regional directors and if they are all as good as the guy who runs our business, I can see why LSL would want them.

    I’m sure LSL are looking way beyond the board at HoC and are buying the entire team. Despite the obvious mistakes by the board, I believe the people looking after me are the best in the business so wherever they are, I’m with them!

  • AR 6th May 2010 at 3:54 pm

    Just finished a meeting with Gerry O’Brien and Richard Coulson in Northern Ireland. Gerry O’Brien has stated that the deal is signed with LSL and will be announced tomorrow.

    ARs will be receiving a ‘variation’ to sign which switches over their contract to LSL with a new FSA number. The rest of the contract remains exactly the same. Aparently we are receiving this by email tonight or tomorrow morning. When you sign and return it you will receive all commission owing.

    Home of Choice will briefly enter administation and then come straight back out of it with the new owners LSL in charge.

    Lets hope all of this is true.

  • Kim Morgan 6th May 2010 at 3:49 pm

    So, when Richard said yesterday, we will have contracts yesterday and if signed we will get our money Friday…. Is this yet another lie. Why not say NOT SURE!! I would sooner have that than a LIE!! Still not seen a contract. And looking at other comments, I am thinking this may take longer than a few hours!! I have business to write, and until I see this contract I think I’ll shop around for my back up plan. Good luck everyone. This is causing me a head ache, can’t do much about it until the contract comes through, but the time delay is giving me time to think things through more cleary, not in haste and take legal advice. Been an interesting day!!! All I can say is I will not be staying with HOC for too long, or at all if I can help it.

  • Mike DAVEY 6th May 2010 at 3:41 pm

    Gerry O’Brien kept saying “It should never have happened, it should never have happend” but it did and they as Directors are to blame. What new Owner in their right mind are going to take on a bunch of failures into their Company.

  • anon 6th May 2010 at 3:37 pm

    I for one will not be staying with them. It is unbelievable that the directors of this company have managed HOC into administration but they will still have a network of people to manage!!?? The only thing these guys have lost is the 5.4 million debt (or whatever it is) that they accrued in the last five years. If I were to complete an ignition fact find on these guys for their lending I am pretty sure it would have failed.

  • HOCAR 6th May 2010 at 3:22 pm

    To Anon 2:57pm Whats the good news about the contracts then?? Has anyone even seen one???

  • Angry HOC AR 6th May 2010 at 3:11 pm

    IT JUST KEEPS GETTING BETTER !! What planet are you on??? Whats so good about being owed thousands of pounds by a board who have mismanaged the company and SPENT OUR MONEY on what? their dividends / salaries. Remember we are fighting to get OUR MONEY, ie MONEY OWED TO US, work that has been written BY US, commission that has been paid to the company and kept FROM US. Wake up and smell the coffee

  • Anne Proudlock 6th May 2010 at 2:57 pm

    Again we see brokers and probably the competition trying to cause bad feeling.

    More good news again regarding contracts


    From where all us advisers were a week ago until now.


    lets crack on all at HOC

  • Anonymous 6th May 2010 at 2:15 pm

    The HOC board have mismanaged the business resulting in the position of us all not being paid & worring about paying bills. Why should some of you have sympathy with Richard & Gerry. Have you seen the salary & bonus’ they have paid themselves.
    Richard Coulson stood up in front of the North West consultants on Wednesday morning & told us ”contracts would be e mailed to us in the afernoon” & indicated ”we should be paid on Friday”.
    Complete & utter rubbish as it turns out. I feel very angry with myself for believing what I was told.

  • HOCAR 6th May 2010 at 1:54 pm

    I agree John!

  • Angry HOC AR 6th May 2010 at 1:40 pm

    Nice comment Alan Lindley….. who exactly are you? you are not on the HOC competition advisors page? Maybe you are a non selling principal or a friend of the current directors who HAVE MISAPPROPRIATED our cash. Thank the board!! More like SACK THE BOARD !!

  • Alan Lindley 6th May 2010 at 1:25 pm

    I have been to the meeting today and I feel that the directors of Home of Choice have given us a good option to go on in the future, we all accept that the market at the moment is in a real state of flux, when this does come back we need to be ready, this tie in gives us that certainty. instead of berating the directors we should actually thank them for the last 5 years, I for one have enjoyed my time with home of choice and I personally would liek to thank the Home of Choice board for taking the chance in the first palce.

  • John Reid 6th May 2010 at 1:17 pm

    This doesnt make sense….
    What if everyone says OK we will sign this 3 month contract they are then paid out money by LSL to the value of their comission. At the same time they start the process being reauthorised elsewhere and after 3 months everyone leaves LSL – why on earth would LSL leave themselves open for that to happen? They will have paid out millions for nothing.. weird ! 12 month contract made more sense

  • Glyn Snelgrove 6th May 2010 at 1:15 pm

    The rumour mongers out there really display the unprofessional and completely immature childlike qualities we specifically weed out when appointing our next advisers!The truth is(direct from a HOC extremely relable source) the contracts are having the addendums attached right now, will be delivered in the next few hours, and are identical to the originals with the obvious differences for FSA purposes.I hope the previously anonymous(covert) characters/companies are man enough to say sorry when push comes to shove, till then I respectfully suggest you keep quiet.

  • Peter Jefies 6th May 2010 at 12:59 pm

    The point with regards to the FSA is crucial – whilst it is good and proper to see a positive frame of mind on show, in real terms, this ‘deal’ could be days, if not weeks, away from being finalised.It will require formal regulatory approval, and sign off, any gtee’s of being able to write new business, and, being paid our pipelines, are worth nothing until this proposed deal has been approved. The clock is ticking HOC….

  • Jeff Baird 6th May 2010 at 12:59 pm

    Re Anon 12.39pm link – Hillarious – I love that film. Gerry show me my money and I’ll still be your AR……..

  • John Reid 6th May 2010 at 12:51 pm

    Can you just flip Appointed Reps or Advisers from one FSA number to another one or do you have to re-register with the new name/number etc and wait for approval?….. My understanding is it is a new application process and assessment process to be able to do this. If you sign a contract that ties you in for any period of time you will have your hands tied while you wait for registration to come through. Can anyone tell the truth about what is happening? As for the ones keeping the faith… good luck with that. it all doesnt smell very good from where I am sitting.

  • Anon 6th May 2010 at 12:39 pm

    Gerry O’Brien “Show me the money!”

  • John Reid 6th May 2010 at 12:38 pm

    True to past dealings with Mr O’Brien he is not telling the whole truth and nothing but hte Truth. Mr O’Brien Answer this – Why on earth have HOC not accepted Tony Murtag’s offer to keep HOC out of administration and pay every penny owed to everyone?

  • Carl Davies AR 6th May 2010 at 12:38 pm

    Well done Richard and Gerry. Can confirm that there is no 12 month contract, to many lies and to much bull #### for other networks.

  • Unhappy AR 6th May 2010 at 12:36 pm

    If, and only if this deal is done there is not a bottomless pit of monies.

    Were you invited to dinner after the roadshow? Clue?

    No LSL representitive at Birmingham Clue.

    No fsa approval, clue

    You are not being paid, how long are you going to continue believing?

  • John Reid 6th May 2010 at 12:25 pm

    This is a different story…. Where did the other one go – been censured have we?

  • david dean hoc AR 6th May 2010 at 12:16 pm

    i personaly think this is good news
    and rather than people putting negative responces on here all the time, lets just get on a do what we all do best and book some business, and feel confident that we are now backed up by a multi million pound plc.
    The Grass isnt always greener on the otherside!

  • Dionysius 6th May 2010 at 12:13 pm

    There are many factors in this sad sorry saga that do not stack up. If one decides to move from company to company it involves a lot of work re-registering with the FSA. Therefore how can HOC go into administration and LSL simply set up a new company and everyone simply transfers. It is a totally new trading entity. Have the FSA given a concession on this. If LSL buy HOC from the administrator that is of course a totally different. From a PR point of view Gerry and Richard have handled this matter very poorly additionally they have been a little disingenious as they must have known months ago that there were problems. Many HOC AR’s thought Gerry and Richard were Messiah like. Had they called everyone together and said look chaps the mud is about to hit the fan, but heres the plan things might have been different. Instead it has been as stated previously poor poor. One can only assume Gerry and Richard have been securing their own futures before anyone else

  • mic2002 6th May 2010 at 12:07 pm

    Lets face it,to make this work LSL need to pay the debts which are X££s.THey also need to ensure future profit & return from this investment so will need to increase the amount of money going to the network.They can only do a few things..cut costs,increase fees,decrease commissions payable to AR’s.Probably, there will be a bit of all three.

    To secure this,they want a 12 month contract,which means they need to be able to secure all their returns in this time period.They will have no doubt assumed a certain number will leave,so will need to over egg the calcs to make it work.

    There can’t be a ‘mirror image contract’ as this implies the charging structure will be the same.It cannot.It would also be likely to contain a flexible clause to allow them to charge more ( in case a larger number leave)when they see fit.

    The existing management needs to answer
    how such a large network was unable to implement measures to save the firm.They quite clearly did not take such action.

    I expect the current management will vanish some time after the ink is dry.

  • Keith 6th May 2010 at 11:52 am

    Re the question, why can’t they just say you will get paid your commission rather than an amount equivilent to? The Inland Revenue (and others) are being dumped on here, if it was as blatant as calling it commission and the existing directors remain I think the Revenue (and remember thats the British Taxpayer) and other creditors would be very upset- and who can blame them, this may or may not be legal, but morally wrong. How can AR’s be paid and the others are not? The other bid aparantly involved a straight purchase which presumably meant creditors would all have been paid. What do the FSA think of this slight of hand and does re-authorisation start from scratch if its a new company- not a trading company thats been purchased, surely this means starting again?
    You have to ask why this bid was accepted by the board, theres little doubt that it was to feather their own nest – and still these incredibly naive statements on here about what a find job the directors have done!!
    What are some you people smoking? What do the directors have to do to upset you? Let me remind you that you are in this muddle because of their mis-management, its nobody else’s fault is it? Nobody else undercharged, nobody else overspent and nobody else lied about the reasons and timing of the non-payment of commission!
    Some other thoughts to leave you with, many of your AR’s will leave whatever happens. This will mean higher charges for those that stay as the economies of scale are reduced. The renewal streams that help support the Network will go to the creditors, weakening the new Networks position further. The Network will have considerable set up costs including the payments “equivilent to the commission pipeline, sounds like a fantastic business model eh?
    Wake up and smell the bull****. The directors should have put their AR’s , staff and other creditors first. They are morally bankrupt although I somehow doubt that their own financial situation will suffer as yours will. I do hope the situation improves for the poor HOC AR’s, but some of the coments on here show a childlike level of thinking. Sadly the only sensible course of action is to move on and rebroke – I think most clients will understand if you are honest with them and support that.

  • Roland Millward 6th May 2010 at 11:46 am

    Sound like this could actually be illegal. Where is the FSA?

  • Matthew Harris 6th May 2010 at 11:32 am

    I agree with Chris and Joanne. To achieve what HOC have done in such a short time, especially over a bank holiday weekend is a credit to HOC and LSL. We are the biggest asset within HOC, and as such it wouldn’t make sense to screw us over with a contract with unsatisfactory terms. As for the 12 month tie-in, once HOC are secure, I personally wouldn’t dream of leaving anyway. As Richard said yesterday,3 weeks ago, if someone had suggested you change networks, most of us would’ve laughed in their faces! I for one have had enough of pointless gossip. It’s time we all appreciate this for the positive step it is to secure our future, and get behind HOC to make sure it happens.

  • Kes Outhwaite 6th May 2010 at 11:27 am

    Why do the networks contract AR’s with handcuffs. Independant brokers should, by namesake, remain independant and be allowed to place business through whoever gives them the best support and financial renumeration. Why don’t AR’s work through smaller DA firms who ensure compliance and pay higher commissions immediately. The HoC and Mortgage Times collapses should be a lesson during these transitional times for brokers.

  • Steve Laing 6th May 2010 at 11:19 am

    Even after you have signed the contract, don’t expect to immediately get paid – the new owners will want to ensure each broker firm is satisfactorily referenced, has acceptable level of complaints etc, before registrating them as AR’s with the FSA. Surely not until all that has been done satisfactorily will thay part with any cash?

  • John Reid 6th May 2010 at 11:12 am

    Only change the tradign name… I can see another change in contract without reading it. Your 3 months termination clause has increased to 12 months by signing a 12 month contract. Be very careful here guys. the fees that were being charged obviously were not enough to keep the company afloat therefore there may be charges on fees. Also LSL has an infrustructure already with brokers up and down the country, I ask myself why the heck do they want to take on all this extra debt and potential comission clawback when they can start a network tomorrow and bring all you guys with them for free???? Its not making much sense.

  • Peter Jefries 6th May 2010 at 11:04 am

    Hold on a second Chris – we are owed, by contract, our pipeline funds – to be asked to sign a 12 month contract, simply to gtee we receive what is already owed to us by contract, is unnaceptable. Pay me what I am owed, then let me make my mind up on if I want to join. As stated yesterday, this has a strong Prestbury feel, and we all saw what happened there.

  • John Reid 6th May 2010 at 11:04 am

    This is why the roadshows have been hurriedly put together. They want to know how many brokers are going with them before agreeing to this deal I think. Shocking !! What does equivalent to your commission mean? why not just say your comission… this sounds a bit dodgey to me. Why did the board vote for LSL – is this a deal for the boys?

  • Peter Eater 6th May 2010 at 11:03 am

    Any conspiracy theorists out there could have a field day with this. By entering adminstration, certain debt is wiped out, brokers are contractually obliged to stay with a business over the next 12 months, thus consolidating the network’s distribution and the current Directors remain employed but with the stability of a successful, financially independent parent. I trust any HMRC debt hasn’t been left as this Murtagh chap seems to have indicated that all creditors would be paid without the need for administration. You have to say, if this is what happened (only the guys who have done the deal will know if it did or didn’t) than this is naughty but nevertheless, genuis! I am now leaving the grassy knowle!

  • Neill Turner 6th May 2010 at 11:01 am


  • HOCAR 6th May 2010 at 11:00 am

    1 week?? From what I understand we will be 3 weeks worth of payments behind come friday 7th! Also if this is the case where are the illusive contracts thats need to be returned before tomorrow to be paid….oh could it be because they are still in talks and how are we going to receive any commission tomorrow when the BACS transfer needs to be done a certain number of days before the payment date and I really cant see them paying a CHAPs fee for us to have OUR money!!!

  • steve davis 6th May 2010 at 10:58 am

    Chris is that the same Gerry O Brien that said we were appointing administrators and then that we were not in administration whilst knowing all the time that the LSL deal meant that there was no alternative but to go in to administration.

  • Tony Hughes 6th May 2010 at 10:57 am

    How is it that suddenly with holding or not paying what is rightly yours becomes a barganing tool these guys are absolute scoundrals tusting them is madness leave now, before another month is wasted !!!

  • Joanne Telford 6th May 2010 at 10:53 am

    Although This is a very tense time for all AR’s within HOC I do think its important that we all look at the facts. Unitl we get a contract from the new owner and carefully read through it, it is a pointless exercise to start assuming what will be in there. As a AR who attended the meeting yesterday and listen carefully to what had to be said, I never heard anything about a 12 month contract. I have since spoken to HOC and they have given me a firm assurance that the contract that we will be ask to sign will basically mirror the one that we have already got. As I understand it the main change will be the change of the name to the purchasing company. I think we all need to take a senisble approach to this situation and ask ourselves “why would the new company want to potentially loose their biggest asset, which is us, the brokers!” This type of gossip does not help the situation! Hopefully the contract will be sent out within the next couple of days and the offical annoucement which we all need to hear will be made and we can all go back to our businesses.

  • Chris Downham 6th May 2010 at 10:44 am

    I have just heard that Gerry O’Brien has confirmed that the contracts will be exactly the same (apart from the name of the company we are contracting to changing).

    Lets remember that this new company is part of a group that is far better capitalised and has some strategic connections (volume of lending) that should benefit the ARs.

    The directors are providing information real time and hence sometimes they give a time / date for more info and then can not stick to it. I for one think that under the circumstances this is the best thing for them to do. Due to number of rumours and vested interest of competitors they need to keep giving info, even if not 100% finalised.

    I find it amazing that they have managed to get this far in 1 week.

  • tmurtagh 6th May 2010 at 10:31 am

    Ask the board….”why did you vote for the lsl bid”…all this uncertainty was avoidable.

  • steve davis 6th May 2010 at 10:18 am

    Where is the press anouncement that was imminent yesterday at 2.00pm and where are the new contracts to enable us to get paid tomorrow.It’s not going to happen is it?

  • Thomas 6th May 2010 at 10:18 am

    Work for us and you will get YOUR money. If you dont you wont. Sounds like a ransom job to me