A new nationwide mortgage network offering free referral business to brokers is to be launched by the end of this year.
The independent network, Crystal Clear Mortgages, will be backed by technology provider Marlborough Sterling. A call centre, which currently has around 80 staff on board, will service direct business, with mortgage advice and regulated insurance business passed on to a team of IFAs. There will be no charge to either advisers or customers.
A preliminary link-up with a 200-strong IFA business, yet to be named, has been confirmed, but the network plans to work with a number of other advisers to deal with the growing number of referrals expected after the launch.
The company has a £4m advertising spend and is planning a mass television, press and direct mail campaign to market the brand.
The network will be headed by chief executive Robin Tinsley, who has worked for a number of lenders and insurers including Mortgage Express, Credit Suisse and Winterthur. Nick Baxter, director of network Mortgage Promotions, will take a non-executive role.
According to Tinsley, the network aims to be a dominant brand in the mortgage intermediary market. ‘Although at first contact, the call centre will work direct with the consumer, mortgages are complex and we are expecting to generate significant leads for advisers. We are aiming to deal on a nationwide scale, with total service back-up,’ he said.
Sean Hornsby, sales and marketing director at Mortgage 2000, said there could be a risk of over-crowding as more networks launch. ‘By the time regulation comes into force, there will be a number of networks struggling for members,’ he said.
However, Gordon Bowden, business development director at Scottish Widows Bank, said: ‘This offers nationwide coverage. It also caters for both customers who are happy transacting business over the phone and those who prefer face-to-face advice.’