The lay-offs were announced in a trading update yesterday (January 31) by MAB, amid a slow down in mortgage lending and property transactions.
Most of our AR firms suspended adviser recruitment and reassessed their staffing requirements for 2023.MAB
In December, mortgage approvals fell for a fourth consecutive month, reaching their lowest level seen since May 2020, during the first lockdown.
This trend is expected to continue into 2023, with gross new mortgage lending set to fall 15 per cent, according to UK Finance.
As a result, MAB said yesterday: "We expect to see a fall in adviser numbers in our current ARs [appointed representatives] during Q1 2023 as firms reduce their headcount in line with expected H1 2023 purchase activity.
"Lower lead levels result in a tightening of adviser numbers and an increased focus on maximising opportunities and productivity."
Last year, the mortgage advice network spent £73mn on a majority stake in broker Fluent money to boost new business leads.
At the time, MAB’s chief executive Peter Brodnicki said the deal would "be transformational for MAB's national lead generation strategy".
Fluent sources leads either through its own channels - which include a telephone-based adviser service - or through third party aggregators which it passes on to its advisers.
The investment saw Fluent add £22mn in revenue to MAB's total £230mm revenue for last year, a 22 per cent increase on the previous year.
During 2022, MAB also grew its adviser network by 20 per cent, from 1,885 to 2,254. This included 182 advisers at Fluent following MAB's investment.
It is unclear how many advisers MAB expects to shed through its AR firms between January and March this year. The network oversees some 200 firms.
In its trading update, the network said: "Following a leap in mortgage interest rates, the withdrawal of many mortgage products and a rapid tightening in lenders' underwriting criteria, Q4 saw significantly reduced house purchase and re-financing activity.
"Buy-to-let activity was also significantly impacted. As a result of the sharp slowdown in all mortgage activity, most of our AR firms suspended adviser recruitment and reassessed their staffing requirements for 2023.
"This has resulted in cutbacks in advisers by some firms, particularly due to the significant short-term fall in purchase transactions requiring a mortgage."
The network does, however, expect adviser numbers in its current ARs to stabilise in the second quarter of 2023, before "build[ing] gradually" in the second half as business volumes improve.