Mortgage Advice Bureau has brought back half of the 101 advisers initially put on furlough.
In a trading update issued yesterday (July 30) the group said as at June 30, its adviser number was 1,470, including 101 furloughed advisers. As at July 24, the adviser number stood at 1,472, with 55 remaining on furlough.
According to the group, its AR firms had placed about 245 people on furlough at the height of the crisis during March to May.
Recruitment of new advisers was also “very limited” and although it continued discussions with potential new ARs, it said that no new firms were added over the three-month period.
Mortgage Advice Bureau (MAB) said: “We believe that until the longer-term picture becomes more certain, some of our AR firms will remain cautious on adviser recruitment, but will look to strengthen where required in terms of adviser quality and productivity”.
Mortgage applications up
MAB also reported a “sharp increase” in purchase-related mortgage activity since housing markets reopened, particularly from first-time buyers, despite the “extremely restricted availability” of higher LTV mortgages.
It added the number of mortgage applications across the network had reached “record levels” and expected the increased stamp duty threshold to “further support” this recovery.
According to MAB, revenue for the six months ended June 30 had increased by 4 per cent to £63m, compared with H1 2019. About £6m of revenue was generated by broker First Mortgage, which the group acquired in July 2019.
Peter Brodnicki, chief executive officer of Mortgage Advice Bureau, said: “By reacting quickly and redeploying our resources to capture all possible opportunities during the peak of the crisis, we ensured that our H1 performance remained strong.
“The extreme impact of the pandemic quickly highlighted any weaknesses that may have existed in some AR processes and business models, and our AR firms have been responding equally quickly and adapting to further strengthen performance.
“In addition, lockdown led to MAB and our ARs adopting new ways of working. We are proactively building upon these new processes as the recovery continues and believe these will bring long-lasting benefits to the group.”