AMI says third of mortgage brokers furloughed

AMI says third of mortgage brokers furloughed

The mortgage industry will see brokers gradually return to work after an approximate 30 per cent of the workforce were furloughed, according to the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries (AMI).

Robert Sinclair, chief executive of AMI, said brokers linked to estate agencies in particular had been pushed into furlough, while larger firms reduced their capacity.

This echoed comments made by Brian Murphy, head of lending at Mortgage Advice Bureau, who told FTAdviser firms mainly focused on estate agency and new build had seen the highest level of furloughed staff.

Since last week estate agents’ offices have been allowed to reopen, as the government confirmed that anyone in England can move home.

Mr Sinclair said: "As we went into lockdown, firms took necessary steps to protect their financial position and those of their employees.

"As we now see the purchase market reopening, AMI expects that we will see a gradual return of more mortgage brokers to the market to help guide their customers through the house buying process.

"With the changes to lender criteria and individual consumer circumstances, the need for high quality advice has never been greater."

Mr Sinclair also noted there was now an increased level of interest from potential buyers but he thought having enough income to survive would still be a challenge that brokers will face.

Visits to Rightmove had increased by 45 per cent on the morning of May 13, when restrictions were lifted, compared with the previous day of lockdown, according to the property portal.

Despite the restart of the property market in England, Mr Sinclair said it would be “baby steps forward”.

During the lockdown remortgages have been a key way for brokers to sustain income.

Adam Wells, director at Lloyd Wells Mortgages, told FTAdviser he had seen many brokers advertising for remortgages six months before the end date of early repayment charges.

Mr Wells said: “By approaching clients early, we can build our pipeline and make sure that we are in a healthier position later in the year. It also ensures that the clients are in the best possible position should there be any increase to rates over the coming months.”