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Sesame to close investment adviser network to focus on mortgages

by: Emma Lunn
  • 31/03/2015
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Sesame to close investment adviser network to focus on mortgages
Sesame Bankhall Group (SBG) plans to close its investment adviser network to focus on growing its mortgage business and Bankhall services.

In a strategic review update the group has announced it is set to scrap its investment adviser network. Wealth advisory firms which are currently appointed representatives of Sesame will be given time to become directly authorised before the network closes, or they can switch to a new network.

There has been uncertainty over Sesame’s future since February 2013 when it was put up for sale.

The ongoing strategic review, which is supported by parent company Friends Life, is being undertaken to ensure SBG can build a profitable and sustainable business for the future.

John Cowan, executive chairman of SBG, said the objective was to play to the group’s strengths.

“In the mortgage market we will continue to operate our market-leading PMS mortgage club and our appointed representative (AR) network for mortgage firms, together representing around 25% of all UK intermediated mortgage lending,” he said.

“A further strength within the group is our Bankhall business, which is already a strong market-leading brand and has significant growth potential. Bankhall will continue to further enhance its range of services and in doing so respond to the enormous changes and exciting opportunities emerging in the at-retirement market.

“Our future plans mean we will develop our growing Bankhall business and we will continue to grow our mortgage business, including our AR network option for mortgage firms.

“However, we will no longer offer an AR network option for wealth firms. Wealth firms currently in our network will be given time to become directly authorised with the support of Bankhall. Alternatively, as part of our commitment to offer choice, firms preferring to remain as ARs will be able to move to a new network partner.”

Cowan confirmed the group are in talks with another advisory group to help facilitate a smooth transition for those firms who would prefer to remain ARs.

Mortgage Solutions reported earlier this month how Aviva’s proposed acquisition of Friends Life had been given the go-ahead by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), following an agreement reached in December.

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