Top 10 most read mortgage broker stories this week – 12/08/2022

Top 10 most read mortgage broker stories this week – 12/08/2022

Suffolk Building Society temporarily pausing mortgage applications, Coventry Building Society relaunching new business from today and criteria changes from Natwest also proved popular with brokers.

‘I’d be wary of recommending five-year fixes despite the gloom’ – Star Letter 05/08/2022

Lifetime Connect hires Dom Scott as managing director – exclusive

Financial advice firm one of five declared in default by FSCS


Calling all the Emmas; let’s celebrate the women in the mortgage sector – Skipton BS


Man pleads guilty to giving mortgage advice without authorisation


Suffolk BS temporarily pauses mortgages applications


Coventry BS to relaunch new business range on Friday


Natwest changes income and packaging requirements and green mortgage criteria


L&G rules out cutting lifetime mortgage rates to compete


London Mayor urges landlords to sell properties to councils rather than other investors



Lifetime Connect hires Dom Scott as managing director – exclusive

Lifetime Connect hires Dom Scott as managing director –  exclusive

Scott will take on the role from September and will also serve on the board of 360 Dotnet. The latter company launched 360 Lifecycle, an end-to-end practice management system, that supports mortgage and insurance brokers.

Scott left Alexander Hall in June after more than a decade with the firm. He initially joined the company from Foxtons as sales director before becoming managing director in 2015.

During his time as managing director he oversaw review growth of 172 per cent, EBITDA growth of 700 per cent, grown market share by 42 per cent.

Before that he worked at Foxtons for around eight years, first as a move consultant and business development manager and then as operations director.

He has also been a member of the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries since 2021.

Fryett is re-joining Quilter Financial Planning as managing director. He founded Intrinsic, which was the predecessor of Quilter Financial Planning, and worked at the firm between 2005 and 2019.

He joined Lifetime Connect in 2019 as managing director, which is Quilter’s largest appointed representative firm with around £1.4bn of clients’ assets under advice.

Lifetime Connect CEO, Paul Merrigan, said: “I’ve worked with Steve for many years, and we’ve made great progress in driving Lifetime Connect forward during difficult times. We wish him well and look forward to continuing to work with him as we strengthen our strategic partnership with Quilter.

“I’m also excited to welcome Dom Scott into the business. Dom’s a leading figure in the mortgage and protection industry who will help ensure we continue our growth journey.”

Scott added: “I’m excited to be joining the Lifetime Group and play an integral role in such a dynamic, forward-thinking business. I’ve known Paul Merrigan and Steve Fryett for many years and I’m looking forward to delivering our ambitious growth plans alongside a first-class management team, who are committed to delivering excellent service standards across mortgages, protection, and financial planning.

“Joining the board of 360 Dotnet, who transacted £37bn of lending in 2021, will ensure these growth aspirations are underpinned by market leading technology solutions.”

Fryett said that he had really enjoyed working closely with Merrigan and the management team at Lifetime Connect for the last three years, as well as the advisers and business principals of the Connect members.

He added: “Navigating the business through the pandemic and the various lockdowns that followed has been challenging, but we continued to grow, and the business is in a strong position on which to build. I know I leave Connect in safe hands with the appointment of Dom Scott.

“I’m looking forward to getting started with Quilter Financial Planning and working with the management team to create an environment where advisers can thrive. Lifetime Connect is an important part of this plan and I look forward to continuing to build the strategic relationship between the two companies.”

Lifetime Connect provides a range of services for financial companies. This includes, marketing, accounts and payments, HR and business standards, training and business development, protection, solicitors, mortgage and protection sourcing system and wealth management

It has a directly authorised protection business, Lifteime Assure.

Alexander Hall reports eight per cent drop in revenue in H1

Alexander Hall reports eight per cent drop in revenue in H1

Its parent company Foxtons attributed the £400,000 drop in revenue to “lower new purchase mortgage activity compared to the prior period which also benefited from stamp duty relief”.

However, Alexander Hall saw good levels of repeat remortgage business partly offsetting the reduction in new business. It also reported an 11 per cent increase in average revenue per transaction reflecting higher mortgage loan values.

Although the broker firm’s business volumes fell 16 per cent from 2,334 to 2,795, the average revenue per financial transaction was £2,056, up 11 per cent on 2021 when it was £1,859.


Foxtons’ performance

Foxtons reported a half-year adjusted profit of £6.2m, up 13 per cent.

It said revenue from continuing operations grew three per cent to £65.1m, from £63.4m in H1 2021, comprising of lettings at £39.4m and sales £20.8m.

The group said its profits were boosted by a 20 per cent revenue growth in lettings, although sales declined by 17 per cent.

It said the dip was a result of sales transactions pulled forward ahead of the 30 June 2021 stamp duty, which boosted comparable revenue during the first half of 2021.

Total revenue grew three per cent from £63.4m last year, to £65.1m during H1 2022. Foxton’s operating profit was £6.2m, up 13 per cent, while pre-tax profit was up 21 per cent at £4.3m.

The group’s lettings portfolio stands at around 27,500 tenancies, with 2,500 new tenancies added in the period through the acquisition of Gordon & Co and Stones Residential.

Nigel Rich, chairman of Foxtons, said: “In the first six months of the year we have made significant progress against our plans to reset the business and get back on the front foot.”

Rich, also welcomed the incoming chief executive Guy Gittins, the former CEO of Chestertons, who joins Foxtons in September this year.

Rich said: “In the period, we successfully completed the integration of D&G lettings, as well as making a further two acquisitions in our lettings business to enhance earnings and market share. We enter the second half with a tightening grip on costs, a focus on sales intensity, and an improved ability to generate revenue from prudent investment in negotiators and financial services advisers.

There remains much to do, but the heart of Foxtons is strong, and we are well placed to accelerate profit growth and realise the potential of the business.”

Tom Davies appointed MD and Adrian Fardini made sales director in Alexander Hall senior reshuffle

Tom Davies appointed MD and Adrian Fardini made sales director in Alexander Hall senior reshuffle

Davies has worked at Alexander Hall for 15 years and was sales director for seven years. He was was appointed managing director last month, subject to regulatory approval. This follows the departure of Dom Scott, who left after more than a decade at the firm. 

Fardini replaces Davies and has spent 13 years at the brokerage, with his prior role being operations director and mortgage adviser. 

Davies and Fardini both joined Alexander Hall on its trainee adviser programme and progressed as senior advisers, then team leaders prior to taking on their director roles.

Davies said: “At the start of this year Alexander Hall shared its future growth plans and so far in 2022 we have increased our adviser headcount, business pipeline and as our market share.

“I’m delighted to have been given the opportunity to lead the business through what will be an exciting period. Adrian will be a fantastic addition to the senior management team and will play a key role in helping us deliver on our ambitious growth plans.”

MPowered launches broker partnerships to boost residential market foothold

MPowered launches broker partnerships to boost residential market foothold

All three firms will now be able to offer MPowered Mortgages’ prime residential mortgages to their customers.

MPowered Mortgages is a fintech mortgage lender which uses artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance the mortgage journey for homebuyers and remortgagers.

Clients of Alexander Hall, LDNfinance and SPF Private Clients can already access MPowered Mortgages’ specialist buy-to-let range.

The new partnership means they will also have access to the lender’s suite of prime residential products which includes two, five, seven and 10-year fixed rate mortgages as well as its recently launched £500 cash back range.

Customers will also get a free valuation on every application, and a choice of no arrangement fee, as well as cash back options with rates starting from 3.17 per cent

MPowered Mortgages said it was committed to expanding its reach in the prime residential market by broadening access to its platform.

In the last 12 months MPowered, has expanded its number of broker partners to over 5,000 including Mortgage Advice Bureau and London and Country.

The lender has received investment backing from Barclays, Citigroup’s SPRINT arm and M&G Investments. It also celebrated its first birthday in April this year and opened a new office in Leeds.

Emma Hollingworth (pictured), distribution director at MPowered Mortgages, said: “We are delighted to be teaming up with Alexander Hall, LDNfinance and SPF Private Clients which not only demonstrates our commitment to growing our presence in the prime residential mortgage market, but also enables our prime range and mortgage platform to be accessible to as many homeowners as possible. At MPowered Mortgages, we remain dedicated to revolutionising the mortgage process for brokers and customers alike.”


Mortgage innovation and support

Gareth Lowman, director at SPF Private Clients, said: “Through this partnership, not only will we be able to offer our customers more choice, but also a faster application process and a smoother mortgage journey overall by using MPowered’s AI-driven platform.”

Stephanie Daley, technical adviser at Alexander Hall said as the cost of living continues to increase, homebuyers and their brokers were looking for more innovation and support from lenders. She said: “We’re looking forward to working with MPowered Mortgages, and are confident that their range of products and use of tech will enhance our ability to provide buyers with solutions beyond the big six banks that best cater to their specific needs and allow for quicker processing times.

Greg Cunnington, chief operating officer at LDNfinance, added: We’re delighted to be able to provide our customers with access to MPowered Mortgages’ forward-thinking mortgage platform which uses AI and data science to speed up the process of getting a mortgage. The mortgage industry has been notoriously slow to adopt technological solutions, and with brokers now facing more pressure than ever to secure mortgages, it’s more important than ever that lenders follow MPowered Mortgages’ lead to utilise technology to streamline the homebuying process. We look forward to working with MPowered Mortgages’ as we as an industry continue to drive towards a smoother road to homeownership.”

Top 10 most read mortgage broker stories this week – 17/06/2022

Top 10 most read mortgage broker stories this week – 17/06/2022

Elsewhere, broker moves were of interest such as Alexander Hall’s Dom Scott announcing his departure and the adviser who set up his own conveyancer panel out of frustration.

The upsides of the current mortgage market were discussed too, with The Mortgage Mum’s Sarah Tucker taking the opportunity to bring some positivity to the gloomy narrative and JLM’s Rory Joseph speaking about how affordability complications can bolster the advising process.


Co-op takes FOS to court over review of ‘mortgage prisoner’ case


The broker fed up with conveyancing setting up his own legal panel


Alexander Hall MD Dom Scott to depart – exclusive


Natwest increases rates; Virgin Money withdraws exclusive deals – round-up


A measured view not scaremongering needed with mortgages – The Mortgage Mum


Legal and General Mortgage Club Awards 2022 – in pictures


Affordability uncertainties are a mortgage advice boon – JLM


Hodge to temporarily close new business from Thursday


Lenders react to base rate change


Bank of England raises base rate to 1.25 per cent

Alexander Hall MD Dom Scott to depart – exclusive

Alexander Hall MD Dom Scott to depart – exclusive

It is understood that he will leave the firm on 15 July and that Thomas Davies, sales director at Alexander Hall, will take over the role subject to regulatory approval. 

Scott joined the firm from Foxtons in 2012 as sales director, a role he held for around three years before becoming managing director.

Prior to that, he worked at Foxtons for nearly eight years, initially as a move consultant and business development manager for around three years and then as operations director for nearly five years. 

He has also been a board member of the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries since 2021. 

Scott said: “After 18 marvellous years at Foxtons and then Alexander Hall, I’ve decided to exit the business on July 15th. I will be handing over the managing director reins to the very capable Tom Davies.

“I do so with Alexander Hall in the best shape it’s ever been.”

He added: “However, I take the most pride in seeing so many of my people progress over the years into such amazing financial services professionals, business leaders, homeowners, husbands, wives, mothers and fathers. It’s been a pleasure and a privilege to support their aspirations.”

Mortgage Solutions has contacted Foxtons for comment.

In its latest results, Alexander Hall grew its market share in 2021 by 20 per cent and increased revenues by 17 per cent year-on-year. 

It also transacted over £2bn in mortgage lending from around 45 advisers.

Earlier this year, Scott said he aimed to grow Alexander Hall’s adviser base by 150 per cent over the next five years. 

HSBC confirms agenda for emerging talent event

HSBC confirms agenda for emerging talent event

The event, which will be held at the Savoy Theatre in London on 13 June, aims to acknowledge the rising-star brokers in the mortgage industry.

Talks during the day include a mortgage market update from Richard Beardshaw (pictured), head of sales for intermediary mortgages at HSBC UK, and an economic update from Liz Martins, director for research economics at HSBC UK. Rupi Hunjan, chief executive of Censeo Financial, will talk about the social housing sector.

SimplyBiz’s chief executive Martin Reynolds will discuss social mobility, whilst managing director of Coreco Andrew Montlake will examine diversity and inclusion in the industry.

Michaela Wright, head of corporate sustainability at HSBC UK, is set to highlight sustainability and environmental, social, and governance principles, and Michelle Andrews, head of buying a home at HSBC UK will talk about her journey in the mortgage industry.

Career progression and development will be the focus of Dom Scott, managing director of Alexander Hall and Chris Pearson, head of intermediary mortgages at HSBC UK’s presentations.

Reynolds said: “This initiative from HSBC is a very progressive step and one that is unique in the market. It is an excellent idea, and I am really pleased to see such positive interaction between lender and intermediary.

“Attracting and training new advisers has its challenges at present and this type of support helps to showcase the new talent and hopefully inspires others to want to work in our great industry. I am also delighted that one of our members has been chosen to attend and I am sure they will find the event well worth it.”

Montlake said: “I am delighted to be involved with this fantastic event. It is a really great idea to focus on some of the diverse and exciting emerging talent that is coming into the industry.

“These are the future leaders of the industry, and not only will we have an opportunity to give them some insight, more importantly it will be a chance for them to teach us about the future needs and aspirations of the next generation. HSBC have really shown what a forward thinking company they are with this initiative.”

Sarah Tucker, founder and managing director of The Mortgage Mum said that this was a “fantastic and refreshing initiative” from the bank.

She said: “Emerging new talent needs to be a huge focus point for the future of our industry. After all, these are our future chief executives and leaders, and their interest and passion for their role needs to be nurtured from the very beginning.

“Our industry has previously been seen as stuffy, and the recent Association of Mortgage Intermediary report showed a real need for changes to be made at management level. We believe this starts with attracting new talent into the industry, and I am thrilled to see more and more people of all ages, gender and nationality entering the sector.”

Tucker added that she was delighted one of their brokers Gemma, had been selected as one of the rising broker stars.

Foxtons mortgage broking revenue rises to £2.4m in Q1

Foxtons mortgage broking revenue rises to £2.4m in Q1

In its financial update for the period, the group said the performance of brokerage Alexander Hall was due to “good growth” in repeat remortgage business, which offset the lower volume of purchase completions. 

It has also begun its plan to grow its mortgage broking business by building its financial adviser base. 

Overall, Foxtons generated a revenue of £30m during the quarter, up eight per cent on 2021. This included its lettings revenue, which came to £17.9m, and its sales revenue, which amounted to £9.6m. 

These represented annual differences of a 21 per cent increase in lettings revenue and a nine per cent drop in sales.

The group attributed the decline in sales to the surge in purchase activity last year during the stamp duty holiday. 

Nic Budden, chief executive of Foxtons, said: “I am pleased to report we have had a good start to the year, with all areas of the business trading in line with our expectations.”

Top 10 most read broker stories this week – 04/03/2022

Top 10 most read broker stories this week – 04/03/2022

Mortgage Brain’s acquisition of Mortgage Engine, a likely rise in tax for second homeowners in Wales and Alexander Hall’s mortgage volumes also piqued reader’s interest this week.

Bank of England’s mortgage affordability stress test to go

Mortgage Brain acquires Mortgage Engine

‘We plan to grow the adviser base by 150 per cent over the next five years’ – Alexander Hall

Exclusive: Greg Cunnington exits Alexander Hall to join Ldnfinance

Foxtons’ ‘cross-selling’ bumps up Alexander Hall mortgage volumes

Second homeowners in Wales face three-fold rise in tax

Affordability test removal badged broadly positive for borrowers – analysis

FCA fines Barclays £783,800 in Premier FX case

Clydesdale and Santander raise rates – round-up

Buyers ‘intimidated into dealing with in-house advisers’ by estate agents ‒ analysis