Mortgage brokerage, First Mortgage Options (FMO), has unveiled a mortgage network, offering a range of mortgages, non-regulated life assurers and buildings and contents insurers. The network’s aim is to target those mortgage professionals who wish to remain independent, be directly authorised by the regulator, and to provide a choice of services without any element of compulsion.
The network will offer access to direct and packaged lending panels of 40 companies, plus access to FMO’s one-hour decision in principle service. Membership will be limited to 200 in the first six months, rising to 450 by 2004. A series of roadshows has been organised which starts in Bristol on 18 March.
Mick Clarke, sales and marketing director at FMO, said: ‘To maintain a high level of service and support to our customers we need to control our growth within realistic limits. Our main objective is to attract professional mortgage intermediaries and help them develop their business and take advantage of the technology we can provide. This involves training and support and we recognise we can only provide this to carefully controlled numbers.’
FMO’s uses adapted Trigold software, marketed under the name Optimiser. It has other features, such as case tracking, packaged mortgage administration and integrated conveyancing and general insurance quotations.
Intermediary, Chris Fleetwood, managing director of Paradigm Consulting, said: ‘If we look at what happened when the IFA market was regulated, it would seem by 2004 the need for networks will be established. But are there any benefits that cannot be received from joining a mortgage club? A lot of this is a case of putting down a marker for the future, which is all good, but a one-man band such as myself has to ask: ‘What is in it for me?”