As well as taking top spot for volumes, Openwork stated that Just Mortgages was also the best performer in terms of the quality of business being placed.
Just Mortgages said that when it joined the network three years ago the Openwork business case suggested it would be completing £1bn of lending at this point, yet last year it placed £2.4bn.
That’s up from the £1.61bn placed in 2017 and the £1.15bn in 2016.
The firm suggested that its growth was due in no small part to the “significant” number of brokers looking to join either its employed or self-employed divisions.
Just Mortgages currently has 170 employed brokers, all of whom attended a conference for employed intermediaries last week in Colchester.
The broker firm plans to hold a conference for self-employed brokers – and those looking to join – at the Belfry in the Midlands in June.
When it published its annual results back in February, Just Mortgages confirmed that it had seen a sharp jump in self-employed advisers, increasing from 81 in 2017 to 240 by the end of 2018. Across both divisions it now has 350 advisers, against 130 when it joined Openwork, while the firm said that demand to join has been such that on some months it has received more than 1,000 CVs from interested advisers.
John Phillips (pictured), group operations director for Just Mortgages and Spicerhaart, said the results were a “great validation” of everything Just Mortgages was doing and the high level that its brokers work to.
He continued: “In what is largely a static market we have increased our lending by 40 per cent and our profits by 62 per cent – but most importantly of all, this has been without compromising on the quality of the mortgage business that we place.
“We expect to increase our volumes still further when Openwork provides us with the authorisation to advise on equity release at the end of this quarter.”