Changes include equity release and unsecured business lending panels, a training academy to develop new brokers, and an improved commission split.
The network and advice firm also unveiled discounted offers with technology partners and a revised case submission process providing brokers have reached sufficient quality standards.
Connect for Intermediaries CEO Liz Syms (pictured) announced the additions at the annual conference in Essex last week, which also marked the broker firm’s 20th anniversary.
The equity release panel includes seven lenders and will be available to brokers who have gained the relevant qualification or on a referral basis for those brokers without the qualification.
The seven lenders are Aviva, Hodge, Legal and General, LV=, More2Life, Pure Retirement, Retirement Advantage and a course will be available for Connect network members.
Speaking at the conference Syms said: “Equity release is not just about standalone equity release, there are lots of lenders who have a later-life offering as well.
“We feel we’ve got an offering that enables our advisers to look at all of those options and make the right recommendation for your clients.”
The training academy will be launched in 2019 and aims to help bring new people into the industry through new joiners and existing network member firms looking to grow their teams.
As the vast majority of lending completed through Connect does not require CeMap qualifications, there will not be a requirement to hold this, but these advisers will be restricted to only non-CeMap areas.
“We are going to help you and people not currently in the industry to become mortgage advisers to grow your teams,” Syms said.
“Up until now, to take on an appointed representative (AR) into our network we’ve required experience.
“Our training academy will enable us to take on people without that experience – who maybe have got the qualification but need to learn about what it is to advise,” she added.
Commission and panels
Targets for improved commission splits have also been “drastically reduced” and will be updated on a quarterly basis, with the previous quarter’s activity deciding the split for the next three months.
Brokers earning up to £15,000 in gross commission income per quarter will see 25% taken, between £15,000 and £25,000 will have 20% commission claimed and over £25,000 income will have 15% taken by the network.
The business’ unsecured lending panel includes four lenders (Fleximize, Funding Circle, Iwoca and Whiteoak) and is available as an advised panel for network members and other brokers when using packaging services.
Syms said it had been introduced for brokers to help get their business clients the sort of funding they need to develop their businesses.
A whole of market life panel has also been introduced.
Case submission and technology
Other changes include more freedom for network members to submit decisions in principle themselves, providing they have achieved the appropriate level.
This will also require the network’s full purchase of the One Mortgage System (OMS) software to support General Data Protection Regulation compliance for members.
Connect has also negotiated discounted versions of OMS and Knowledge Bank for its members.