That said, what type of ‘normality’ we will get to is still to be seen.
However, there are some underlying fundamentals about the market which should hold the advisory community in good stead in the months and years to come, and provide individual advisers and their firms with plenty of opportunities.
One of those is the increased complexity of the market, the growth in various niches, the strong sense of competition amongst lenders for business, and the ongoing and numerous product changes that we see every day.
It has become much trickier for would-be or existing borrowers to go it alone and be completely sure that they are getting the most suitable and cost-effective deal.
Within that context, it was therefore unsurprising to read statistics from the Iress Mortgage Efficiency Survey suggest there had been a significant increase in the number of mortgage applications coming via the intermediary channel.
According to Iress that has now gone from 77.5 per cent – an already very high number – to 90 per cent, which given the recent history of intermediary/direct business splits is a staggering reassertion of the importance of advice.
I can remember the days when many thought there was a parity of borrower activity between direct to lender and intermediaries, and to learn that nine out of 10 mortgages are now being written by advisers is a considerable uplift.
This amount of business needing advice and going through the channel presents a number of clear opportunities for individual advisers, particularly those who might well have been considering their futures and where to get the most out of their client bank and ongoing activity.
While we might expect to see purchase activity fall back a little post-stamp duty holiday, there is still a considerable amount of demand out there. When you add in the wealth of mortgage maturities and the ancillary business that can be secured for every single client, you can understand why advisers might be reviewing their own options.
One of the many positives of our market is advisers are able to ‘go it alone’ if they wish, tapping into the network support mechanisms available and fulfilling a need to work for themselves.
At the same time, there are many established firms who can provide an environment where excellence is rewarded. We have many within our network and the majority of the adviser growth we see is organic within our existing firms.
I’m not suggesting that you’re going to have buckets of time to yourself over the next few months but, at some point, you might want to consider what your career plan is, what you need to do to fulfil it and whether any changes are therefore required.
Business levels remain strong and quality advisers are always going to be in demand. It is always worth exploring what might be available, whether the time is right to go out on your own or if you might be a better fit elsewhere.
A career boost might just be a phone call or email away.