MAB primes for cooled but healthy mortgage market as revenue rises to £95m
In its trading update, the group said it started the second half of the year with a “larger than usual pipeline of written business” which it said was down to the extended completion timeframe for house purchase transactions.
It said the time to complete a purchase had extended by around a month when compared to the same period last year.
MAB attributed this to several factors, including conveyancing and local authority capacity constraints, down valuations and “expiring mortgage offers that need to be reconsidered and reissued by lenders due to the frequency of UK base rate increases in the period”.
It said refinancing activity remained strong.
MAB added: “Whilst we expect consumer demand to cool a little over the coming months, transaction levels are expected to remain healthy.”
The group said there was still demand for housing despite rises in the cost of living amid national and geopolitical uncertainties.
It said this was supported by increased household savings, healthy employment levels and rising equity for movers. MAB also noted that lenders had strong liquidity “meaning mortgage availability is now close to pre-pandemic highs, thereby helping market activity to remain healthy”.
While it expects rates to continue rising, it said they were still near record lows and said increases in rates stimulated activity as mortgage borrowers moved to secure favourable rates.
Future outlook and wider business
During the period, MAB saw a 19 per cent increase in its number of mainstream advisers which now amounts to 1,890, up from 1,584. This excludes directly authorised advisers, later life advisers, and advisers from associates in the process of being onboarded under MAB’s appointed representative arrangements.
Its total adviser numbers have risen by eight per cent to 2,034, compared to 1,885 at the end of December.
MAB said the completion of its acquisition of The Fluent Money Group in July allowed it to benefit from national lead generation sooner than expected, which reinforced its confidence for the year ahead.
In the first half of the year, MAB increased its stake protection and general insurance advice firm Vita Financial Limited from 48 per cent to 75 per cent.
It said: “This is a strategically important step for the group as we look to achieve an even stronger market presence in this area.”
Its adjusted profit before tax for the full year is expected to be in line with expectations.
Peter Brodnicki (pictured), CEO of MAB, added: “Despite the obvious frustrations with the pace of completion of housing purchase transactions, our growth plans have been further boosted this year by the acquisition of Fluent Money.
“The expected performance of this strong business, and the leverage it will provide to drive new and significant lead flow into MAB, added to continued strong adviser growth and ongoing enhancements in our technology platform, further supports our plan for accelerated growth into 2023 and beyond regardless of market conditions.”
MAB has also announced a partnership with proptech firm Yuno to provide buy-to-let advisers with legislative knowledge on the sector.
Yuno launched its platform in 2020 which gives users access to information on the property market such as yield returns, legislation and regulatory changes.
MAB advisers will make use of this data when advising buy-to-let clients to ensure they are up to date with any market changes and their legal obligations.
Keith Burch-Lovell, head of partnerships at MAB, said: “We are delighted to partner with Yuno – a no-brainer considering the synergies between the two businesses.
“Shining the spotlight on the wellbeing of our buy-to-let customers, we have already started working alongside landlords and letting agencies to upskill on key health and safety considerations in the sector.
“And we’re proud to play a pivotal role in this educational journey.”
Paul Conway, CEO, and founder at Yuno, said: “The partnership with marketing leading mortgage advisers, MAB, will arm our clients with the bespoke mortgage advice that goes hand in hand with the ever-changing regulatory landscape in the private rented sector.
“Products are constantly changing and are becoming ever more specific to the way a property is being managed, so it’s great to have them side by side with our clients and users.”
MAB completes acquisition of Fluent Money for £72.7m
MAB said that the transaction was expected to be “significantly earnings enhancing” in the first-year post-acquisition.
The firm announced its agreement to acquire Fluent Money in March this year and at the time said it plans to fully acquire the business in the next six years.
MAB said that Fluent Money was a “fast-growing mortgage and specialist lending intermediary” that had strong relationships with aggregators and other national lead sources across first charge, second charge and lifetime mortgages and bridging.
The broker firm said that Fluent had not only been successful at winning new mandates from existing and new lead partners but was “well-positioned to capture significant new business opportunities”.
MAB said that it would work closely with Fluent’s management team to drive higher margin retention and protection opportunities.
Peter Brodnicki (pictured), chief executive officer of MAB, said: “We are very excited to partner with a like-minded management team and high growth intermediary that is a leader in centralised telephone mortgage advice.
“This acquisition is a perfect example of our strategy to invest in complementary businesses and platforms to help accelerate growth by broadening our proposition to access more customers. MAB has targeted the fast-growing sector of national lead generation by using technology to link together its key appointed representatives and invested firms seamlessly.”
He said that combined Fluent and MAB would be able to grow this “new market share opportunity quickly and effectively”, and it would complement MAB’s local and regional strategy delivered by the rest of its growing distribution.
All the winners of the British Mortgage Awards 2022
Here are the winners of the night. Congratulations to them all.
Broker: Rising Star – Distributor sponsored by Coventry for Intermediaries
Debra Bowskill, Mortgage Advice Bureau
Broker: New Build sponsored by Skipton Building Society for Intermediaries
Shafeen Daya, Alexander Hall Associates
Broker: Large Loans sponsored by Metro Bank
Andrew Chalton, LDNfinance
Broker: Later Life Lending sponsored by LiveMore
Darren Johncock, HFMC Wealth
Broker: Buy to Let sponsored by Paragon
Sy Nathan, Dynamo
Broker: First-time Buyer sponsored by Barclays
Tara Panayi, Just Mortgages
Broker: Complex Credit sponsored by Kent Reliance for Intermediaries
Jodi Spreadbury, The Mortgage Broker
Broker: Protection sponsored by HSBC Life
Apurve Kaushik, Allen & Harris
Broker: General Insurance sponsored by Uinsure
Anais Middleton, Heron Financial
Broker: Overall sponsored by Danske Bank
Matt Tilbury, Just Mortgages
Broker: Administrator sponsored by Pepper Money
Amy Baptiste, LDNfinance
Lender: Operations/Credit Risk sponsored by Capita
Katia Petlitskaya, Clydesdale Bank
Lender: Telephony Relationship Manager sponsored by The Openwork Partnership
Achile Mayala, HSBC UK
Lender: Business Development sponsored by Alexander Hall Associates
Laura Underdown, HSBC UK
Lender: Head of Sales & National Accounts sponsored by Primis Mortgage Network
Nicola Goldie, Virgin Money
Business Leader: Development & Innovation Advocate sponsored by eConveyancer
Matt Lowndes, Mortgage Advice Bureau
Business Leader: Specialist Distribution sponsored by Precise Mortgages
William Lloyd-Hayward, Brightstar Financial
Business Leader: Surveyor sponsored by Mortgage Brain
Matthew Cumber, Countrywide Surveying Services
Business Leader: Conveyancer sponsored by Mortgage Solutions
Nick Chadbourne, LMS
Business Leader: Protection or General Insurance Provider sponsored by PMS
Louise Colley, Zurich
Business Leader: Broker (fewer than 10 advisers) sponsored by HSBC UK
Adrian Anderson, Anderson Harris
Business Leader: Broker (11 to 50 advisers) sponsored by NatWest Intermediary Solutions
Andrew Montlake, Coreco
Business Leader: Broker (over 51 advisers) sponsored by Bank of Ireland for Intermediaries
Peter Brodnicki, Mortgage Advice Bureau
Business Leader: Mortgage Club sponsored by BM Solutions
Lisa Martin, TMA Club & Qualis
Business Leader: Network sponsored by Halifax Intermediaries
Toni Smith, Primis Mortgage Network
Business Leader: Intermediary Lender (less than £5bn gross lending p.a) sponsored by Sesame
Charles Morley, Metro Bank
Business Leader: Intermediary Lender (£5bn or more gross lending p.a.) sponsored by Mortgage Advice Bureau
Esther Dijkstra, Lloyds Banking Group
Bharat Sagar Lifetime Achievement Award sponsored by Even
John Cowan, Sesame Bankhall Group
Top 10 most read mortgage broker stories this week – 01/04/2022
Speaking to Mortgage Solutions, MAB’s chief executive Peter Brodnicki said that the rationale behind the acquisition was Fluent’s 14 years in centralised telephony experience with national lead sources, as well as its expertise across first charge, second charge, bridging and later life lending.
Other popular stories this week include brokers discussing the stress and damage of lender withdrawing and changing products at the 11th hour, as well as an interview with Mortgage Brain’s chief executive Zahid Bligrami on its Mortgage Engine acquisition.
MAB agrees to acquire Fluent Money Group
Brokers lament stress and damage caused by 11th hour product withdrawals – analysis
Bilgrami on the Mortgage Engine acquisition: ‘It’s about efficiencies, it’s not about driving distribution’
Just Mortgages to hire more than 800 brokers over next five years
Virgin Money pulls products; Nationwide adjusts rates – round-up
Landlords chasing high returns ditch standard rental properties for holiday let, brokers say
DIFF: Women need to be managed differently – The Mortgage Mum
Lasting power of attorneys – what brokers and their clients need to know
House price growth highest since 2004 at over 14 per cent – Nationwide
Trussle’s Miles Robinson joins digital broker Haysto
MAB hires Sion Williams as brand and marketing director
He was previously head of UK marketing at Countrywide Plc for just over five years and worked at the firm for nearly a decade.
Prior to that he was group marketing manager at PW Data Group for just over two years and before that worked at Graduate Prospects for just over a year.
In his new role he will create and deliver brand and marketing strategy, with a particular focus on the broker’s customer capture and nurture strategy and enhancing lead generation from local and national sources.
He will report directly to MAB’s chief executive Peter Brodnicki.
Brodnicki said: “Sion brings a wealth of experience to the role, both in marketing and an in-depth understanding of the property and mortgage sector.
“He will be another strong addition to my highly innovative exec team, helping us accelerate our plans for customer acquisition and retention.”
Williams added: “Being one of the UK’s largest broker firms, I am proud to join such a strong and successful business that still has such an energy and appetite to constantly learn and innovate to achieve continued strong and sustainable growth.
“It’s an exciting time to join, as the business looks at developing its digital capabilities to understand more about its customers than ever before to drive long term lead value and growth.”
Technology and lead generation must target customers earlier in mortgage journey – Brodnicki
Speaking in his opening address at the ICC in Birmingham, he said that technology could be used to qualify and prioritise leads, as well as generate leads. It will also “deliver value and build trust and loyalty” before the customer is ready to receive advice, which is crucial for future lead flow.
Brodnicki added: “It’s a massive challenge but it is also a massive must-do for us to secure our futures and to be able to evolve our business models and scale with absolute certainty.”
Lead generation deals
Brodnicki pointed to partnerships with Booming, Beehive Money and Moneysupermarket as examples of lead generation that will allow MAB to target customers wherever they were in their mortgage journey.
He added that over the past 18 months it had trialed new lead generation initiatives, including appointed representative dedicated marketing executives and its customer care team in Derby.
Brodnicki said that both had “produced great results” and “received fantastic feedback” and consequently these would be expanded.
He said: “This is just the beginning of a massive project about learning more about our customers and future customers than ever before. It is about delivering value and trust very early on and significantly widening the number and type of resources that will help build additional high quality and high conversion lead flow, months, even years earlier than we do now.”
Working hard on customer acquisition
He reiterated his pledge for MAB to become the number one in lead generation and fulfilment, adding that it would help its partners get more out of new sources and existing customers and trial solutions to increase lead flow.
He said: “Lead generation is the engine room of every single business and it drives every decision that every business makes. I believe every business should first assess itself as a lead generation business in terms of consistency and security of lead flow, lead quality, lead capability, lead source, exposure and aggregated lead cost.”
Promise to advisers
Speaking about his technology pledge at the previous 2019 conference, which said that it would “build technology to be proud of”, he said that it had not made as much progress as he would have liked.
He said that the business had since increased its technology spend threefold and it was now starting to deliver the “planned functionality”.
He added that whilst it would have been easier not to build the technology in-house it was “absolutely the right thing to do”.
He said that the Midas ecosystem, which has been updated, needed to respond to the individual requirements of every customer, business adviser and lead source and he promised it would do “exactly that”.
Mortgage Advice Bureau reports record revenue as advisers hit 1800 – interim results
Brodnicki said: “Despite the Government-imposed restrictions and national lockdown that lasted for much of the first half, housing market activity was fueled by strong consumer demand following the re-opening of the housing market last year as well as the stamp duty holiday.”
He added that the group achieved record levels of mortgage applications and completions per adviser during the period to June.
MAB advisers achieved gross mortgage completions of £11bn in H1 2021 against £7.5bn in 2020 and £9.6bn in new mortgage lending against £6.4bn the previous year. Product transfers also rose from £1.1bn to £1.4bn.
Across the market, UK gross new mortgage lending activity (excluding product transfers) in H1 2021 rose by 58 per cent to £169.9bn compared to H1 2020, which was heavily affected by the closure of the housing market in Q2 2020, and by 34 per cent compared to H1 2019.
The only mortgage advice company listed on the Alternative Investment Market (Aim) said its market share of new mortgage lending represented six per cent of the UK market in H1.
Brodnicki said: “The increase in home-mover activity was particularly pronounced, largely driven by changing working and living patterns. The 30 June 2021 stamp duty holiday deadline in England, Wales and Northern Ireland generated record completion activity levels in June 2021.”
Mortgage adviser numbers rose seven per cent to 1,694 to the 30 June 2021, but reached 1,800 after the first half period on 24 September.
The average number of mainstream advisers rose 13 per cent to 1,584 with revenue earned by each adviser up 28 per cent.
Brodnicki added: “We achieved seven per cent growth in adviser numbers despite the delay in recruitment pipeline conversion due to the UK lockdown and restrictions for much of H1. We expect to see a significant increase in adviser numbers in H2 and moving into 2022.”
The firm also reported acquisition of a 49 per cent stake in specialist new build broker Evolve FS.
MAB signed a raft of lead generation deals in H1 targeting technology helping first-time buyers acquire new homes. The firm invested in and signed a strategic lead generation deal with Boomin, a ‘next generation property portal’, which matches property buyers with targeted streets and promises the most ‘accurate online valuation’ ever
MAB is planning to provide mortgage services across various parts of the Boomin portal, with the opportunity to engage and nurture passive consumers in a meaningful way as they move to becoming active buyers.
It also reported ‘significant progress’ with its commercial deals securing early customer capture with The Nottingham Building Society’s Beehive Money app, an online saving portal and Moneybox, a consumer-facing personal finance management website and signed a long-term agreement with Moneysupermarket this week.
Brodnicki said: “I am confident the recent developments in lead generation and continued enhancements to our technology platform put MAB in an ever-stronger position to accelerate the pace of its growth.”
He added: “As customers adapt their ways of researching and buying mortgage products and services, MAB intends to be at the forefront of this change and increasingly drive a meaningful flow of quality leads through AR firms, thereby ensuring both their and the group’s future growth and success.”
MAB boosts revenue to £91m and grows lead gen capability
The firm’s revenue performance was better by 43 per cent compared to H1 2020 and by 49 per cent against H1 2019.
Since 2019, its number of mainstream advisers has risen by 28 per cent to 1,584, while revenue per adviser has grown by 17 per cent.
Total broker numbers including directly authorised (DAs) and later life advisers, had reached 1,694 as of 30 June 2021.
The group said lead generation capability continued to build strongly. This included through long-term agreements with “one of the UK’s leading price comparison websites,” and with Nottingham Building Society’s Beehive Money app.
Additionally, it noted a commercial relationship with Moneybox, signed in March, and the acquisition of a stake in Evolve FS, a new build advice firm, last week.
The share purchase in Evolve added 35 mainstream advisers to MAB. “This is a strategically important addition to the MAB New Homes proposition as the group looks to achieve an even stronger market presence in this specialist sector,” the half-year statement said.
The group outlined trading as in line with expectations for 2021. It added that based on current business momentum, derived from maturing and new growth drivers, it was well placed to exceed expectations for 2022.
“Underlying fundamentals are driving sustained consumer demand for housing and mortgages,” said Peter Brodnicki, chief executive at MAB (pictured).
“With restrictions starting to slowly lift from mid-April, we have now completed most of the recruitment discussions that were put on hold and therefore expect to see a significant increase in mainstream adviser numbers in H2 and moving into 2022, including the additional mainstream advisers required to service the new lead sources MAB continues to secure,” he said.
Brodnicki spoke to Mortgage Solutions in an interview last week: ‘We will continue growing but we’re never going to lower our standards.’
Top 10 most read mortgage broker stories this week – 23/07/2021
The government’s decision to remove the need for an EWS1 form when lending on buildings shorter than 18 metres was also of interest, as it signified a move which could unlock the market.
Speculation that Foxtons was looking for a buyer for its broker firm Alexander Hall also drew readers in, as did one firm’s decision to refund fees to clients unhappy with their advice.
Government scraps EWS1 forms for buildings under 18 metres
Can you claim the fifth SEISS grant?
Foxtons looks for buyer for mortgage broker Alexander Hall
RIP John Murray, journalist and author (24.06.1947 to 14.07.2021)
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‘We will continue growing but we’re never going to lower our standards’ – Brodnicki
The stamp duty holiday deserves more praise than scorn – Murphy
FCA to hear from brokers through mortgage prisoner review
Broker firm launches guarantee to refund advice fees to unhappy clients
MAB acquires stake in new-build specialist Evolve Financial Solutions
Evolve was founded in 2009 by Jason Blunden, who started his career at Lloyds TSB and then worked at Sterling & Law. The firm has a team of 35 advisers.
It is a specialist new-build broker with a national reach and is headquartered in Ipswich, Suffolk. Evolve also has plans to open a new office in Colchester, Essex this August.
The broker specialises in new-build mortgages, first-time buyers, help to buy, right to buy second-hand mortgages, remortgages, buy-to-let, equity release and lifetime mortgages, adverse lending, life protection and home insurances.
The acquisition of the stake follows MAB’s investment into new-build specialists Meridian, with the firm going on to acquire shared ownership broker Metro.
In April, MAB welcomed Mark Cook, who was Persimmon Homes’ former group sales and marketing director, as its non-executive director.
The new homes board consists of three non-executive directors: Andy Frankish who specialises in broking, Douglas Cochrane who focuses on lending and Mark Cook who brings expertise on developers.
There are also four internal board members, which include MAB’s chief executive Peter Brodnicki, distribution director Gareth Herbert, chief marketing officer Gemma Bacon and innovation director Matt Lowndes. New-build director Mobeen Akram is also a member of the team.
MAB’s chief executive, Peter Brodnicki, said: “Builders and new-build customers rightly have high expectations, and our aim is to deliver a best in class service to both by partnering with the best and most innovative new-build firms in this sector, and ensuring our in-house technology developments are tailored to the requirements of this specialist market and all its stakeholders.
“We have continued to add invaluable experience to the MAB New Homes Board, which now includes the highest calibre non-execs from the broking, lending and building sectors.”
Blunden added: “There is a strong fit between Evolve and MAB in terms of culture and shared ambitions, bringing together the best in technology, people, new-build vision and expertise. We are looking forward to the exciting next stage in Evolve’s development.”