Coreco is looking to launch a network of self-employed brokers as its new managing director says adaptability is key for survival in the mortgage space.
Andrew Montlake, newly appointed managing director of broker firm Coreco, told FTAdviser that mortgage brokers needed to adapt in order to stay relevant as the market was moving into a “period of fundamental change”.
He said: “We want to continue on the same path we have always done, with the same values. Continuity is key. But it’s also about growth and adaptability to the new environment in the mortgage space.”
Mr Montlake, previously a director at the firm, took over as managing director from Matt Lowndes earlier this month.
The firm’s plans for the future include a self-employed broker network, where brokers can conduct business under the Coreco brand while retaining their self-employed status.
Mr Montlake said: “It’s still early days and the plans have not been finalised, but we plan to launch a Coreco network.
“There’s some great up and coming companies in the industry who will look to leverage their brand as best they can. I think a lot of firms will buy into our ethos too — looking after the customer and each other and doing everything the right way.”
Self-employed broker networks have been a popular trend among large broker firms recently, with John Charcol announcing a similar plan earlier this year.
Just Mortgages also bolstered its support for self-employed brokers, announcing plans to more than double the number of brokers working in its self-employed division last month (June 25).
Other plans for Coreco include increasing the number of financial literacy and financial education seminars the firm hosts.
Mr Montlake said the firm already held lots of seminars with companies but that he wanted to ramp up the number of consumers the firm could help inform.
He said: “We assume there is a certain level of knowledge out there but I think until you start looking at your first mortgage, most know very little about the financial world.”
Mr Montlake thought the biggest challenge for mortgage brokers was being able to adapt to the rise in technology and ensuring brokers could interact with consumers “however they wanted”.
He said: “There’s a battle for leads and a battle for consumers. We have to get the consumers in the first place, keep them interested and then client retention along the line.
“Lenders are getting more and more aggressive trying to keep customers. So whether it’s direct or online or however the consumer wants, brokers need to keep that relationship with the consumer. That will become more important.”
He also thought the mortgage advice space could be hindered by the Financial Conduct Authority’s interest in execution-only mortgage sales, apparent in its recent consultation paper (published March 26), which stated the regulator was concerned consumers were "unnecessarily taking advice".