Virgin Money has launched a national advertising campaign promoting the benefits of buying a mortgage through an intermediary.
The bank claims to be the only UK mortgage lender investing in directly promoting its intermediary partners to consumers in this way.
The campaign, the cost of which Virgin Money failed to disclose, will run across national radio and national newspapers, as well as digital and social media channels and mortgage trade media.
It encourages consumers shopping for a mortgage to speak to their existing mortgage broker or, if they don’t have one, to visit a new website created by Virgin Money that helps consumers to find a broker.
More than 8,000 of Virgin Money’s intermediary partners have already agreed to register their details on the new site.
Marketing director Paul Lloyd said he believes the proposition to intermediaries is “second-to-none”, so the natural next step was to put some marketing money “where our mouth is” to create an advertising campaign with a very serious message.
“Our ambition is to drive new business to our intermediary partners, helping them grow, in the knowledge that with the strength of our intermediary proposition, those clients that are right for us will come back our way.”
Jeremy Duncombe, director of the Legal & General Mortgage Club, said the adviser’s role has become increasingly vital to homebuyers in recent years, yet the way in which lenders support intermediaries is rarely addressed.
He said: “Virgin Money’s campaign is breaking this taboo and shaking up the market by doing more than just talking about partnerships; it is actively promoting the importance of advisers and championing the cause of intermediaries.”
In February last year, the bank announced a ‘manifesto’ for brokers, comprising commitments to the market, including:
• Paying customers £100 if they do not receive their mortgage offer within 10 working days after a fully-packaged application is made;
• Giving every intermediary a dedicated, named business development manager who will “know your area and know your cases”;
• Not under-pricing advisers’ customers by making it cheaper for them to go direct;
• Giving 24 hours’ notice before rate increases on mortgage deals, and;
• Reiterating a commitment to “competitive” procuration fees.
Nine months later, it reported back on performance against the intermediary commitments, claiming to have built one of the largest teams of dedicated business development managers nationally, getting to 95 per cent of fully-packaged mortgage applications to offer did so inside the 10-day SLA and giving an average of 29 hours notice before rate increases.