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Advice firm helps staff with pay rise during crisis

Advice firm helps staff with pay rise during crisis

London Money has given its staff a pay rise amid the coronavirus crisis in a bid to be “loyal and fair” to its advisers.

The mortgage broker firm, part of the Money Group network, announced today (March 26) it would increase the retention rates paid to its brokers by about 5 per cent.

London Money said the move would come into effect immediately and cover all existing cases within its pipeline at a time when “many brokers are being made redundant or furloughed” as the property market suffers from the Covid-19 crisis.

Martin Stewart, director at London Money, said: “The speed of this crisis is probably what has hit the industry and brokers the hardest. 

“Some 10 days ago people were going about their normal lives and today we are in lock down as we sit and watch the industry shut down around us.”

Mr Stewart said the firm’s advisers had contributed to the “London Money coffers” during the good times, adding it was only fair the firm used its cash reserves to help them in the bad times.

He said: “None of them will be asked to leave, move on or be discarded. The market will turn and we will be turning with it fully staffed and doing our bit to contribute to the new world when it arrives.”

Government-mandated social distancing and self-isolating has already hampered home viewings and valuations. With the country now in lockdown a further steep drop-off in activity is expected.

This, alongside severe stock market falls eating into people's investments, means the housing market could suffer significantly.

Last week the merger of two mortgage broking giants — LSL Property Services and Countrywide — was called off, the first clear sign that businesses are reconsidering previous commitments in the current climate.

Major lender Barclays, meanwhile, has limited the amount of mortgage applications it is accepting from brokers in a bid to restrict the flow of applications through its case booking process.

Lloyds Banking Group — Halifax, Scottish Widows and BM Solutions — has capped its maximum lending at 60 per cent loan-to-value while Vida Homeloans and Together Money have halted all new mortgage lending.

Jiten Varsani, mortgage and protection adviser at London Money, said: “This is a great move by London Money and very appreciated by its brokers. 

“It is the small gestures that can have big meanings and all our pipelines are now vulnerable so any financial support we can receive along the way is very much appreciated.”

imogen.tew@ft.com

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