Protection 

Network benefits from growing membership

Network benefits from growing membership

Stonebridge Group has seen an increase in mortgage and life protection completions in the first quarter of 2019, thanks to a 10 per cent rise in the number of advisers.

The mortgage and insurance network's quarterly figures showed growth in both applications and completions in mortgages, life and general insurance.

From January to March, the network completed more than £1.6bn of mortgage completions — up 8 per cent on the same period last year — while mortgage applications were valued at just short of £2.5bn, up 9 per cent year on year.

Stonebridge reported an 11 per cent increase in the number of people applying for life insurance and a 24 per cent increase in life completions. The firm said the increase was down to an adviser focus on the protection market.

The network also announced an improvement in general insurance business levels, up 19 per cent on the first three months of 2018.

Stonebridge said it had added 53 advisers to the group during 2018, bringing its total adviser count to 606. This is up 10 per cent on the 553 advisers at the end of March last year.

Jo Carrasco, business partnerships director at Stonebridge Group, said: "It's very pleasing to announce a strong set of figures for the first quarter of 2019, especially given that all our key product areas showed an increase in business compared to the same period last year.

"Clearly as we add more advisers and firms to the network we would anticipate an increase in business volumes but it's also encouraging to see our penetration rates, specifically in the protection market continue to get even stronger.

"The uncertainty that many consumers are currently feeling about the economy, especially given the ongoing Brexit situation, remains a worry and we have urged our advisers to ensure that all protection options are covered off during their client interactions. 

"This is one of the reasons we've seen a strong rise in protection and life business and we will continue to put a significant focus on this in terms of the product options available to our advisers for the benefit of their clients. 

"Only a courageous pundit would predict how the rest of the year might pan out but, we are confident that, if we can get political certainty, this will translate into a far more stable UK economy in which people feel more confident about making those big financial decisions, such as purchasing property. 

“In the meantime, advisers should be doing all they can to support their clients and ensure they are in the best financial shape possible. We are certainly making sure that our firms have all they need to make the most of the opportunities available."

imogen.tew@ft.com