Mortgage Brain (MBL) has announced that it is to shut down its packaging business ‘ Premier Processing ‘ in a bid to concentrate its resources on electronic trading.
The MBL lender consortium voted that the packager, which has been operating for around two years, should be permanently closed. Premier Processing said it would try to avoid redundancies and was hopeful the ‘handful’ of staff would be relocated within MBL’s three other divisions ‘ electronic trading, mortgage sourcing and its financial service arm, which sells non- regulated products.
Barry Louvel, operations director at Premier Processing, said: ‘The board decided packaging no longer fits in with Mortgage Brain’s core business ‘ electronic trading. It is felt that the company should concentrate on this area and so Premier Processing will be wound down. We only employ a handful of staff, so hopefully employees will be able to find opportunities in the other existing groups of Mortgage Brain. The closure of the packaging arm has been considered for some time, so this comes as no surprise. We would like to thank our customers for all of their support over the last couple of years.’
The move means that MBL will now be able to pump more funds into its electronic trading platform and mortgage sourcing system. The company is currently competing with other platforms in the race to sign up new members ahead of N3 and has spoken openly of its intention to become the sole industry platform.
Rival software provider IFonline said MBL’s decision to shut down its packaging arm was a wise move.
Richard Hurst, marketing manager at IFonline, said that until now the trading platform has, in effect, been competing with its customers.
He said: ‘It has often been highlighted in the past by mortgage brokers that the software provider is actually competing with them at the same time as supplying them. We have never felt it appropriate to compete with our customers. At last MBL is finally following our lead.’
According to Louvel, Premier Processing will send letters to its existing customers explaining the board’s decision and the possible time scale of the business’s wind-down.