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Mortgage broker eyes expansion despite Covid

Mortgage broker eyes expansion despite Covid

A Derbyshire-based mortgage advice firm has continued with its plans for growth despite disruption to the financial services industry and housing market due to coronavirus.

The firm, Mortgage 1st, recruited two mortgage advisers in May, while three more advisers have also accepted positions. The number of advisers at Mortgage 1st is expected to reach 20 by the end of the year.

The firm added that its plan for growth in the short term was to increase the number of advisers to 50 by the end of 2023.

Mortgage 1st was founded in 2008 from the home of managing director Jon Stones, who wants the firm to become “one of the biggest broker firms” in the UK.

Mr Stones said: “I’m extremely proud of what my team and I have achieved over the last 10 years, we have built a sustainable business model that has supported and aided our continued growth.

"The key factor to our long term growth plans is for us to ensure that the service and business quality standards that we pride ourselves on maintain no matter how big we become".

Lisa Stones, HR and marketing director at Mortgage 1st, added: “Continued growth is a huge part of our company vision and even though we have had to adapt quickly, like all businesses have, during the past few months, this hasn’t stopped us - we’ve just become more virtual”.

The firm said it had offered remote advice before lockdown by communicating with clients by email and phone.

More than half of its advisers work remotely and are based across the UK. As a result advisers saw “very little disruption” with business being very much "as usual" for clients, it said.

Mortgage 1st added that it had seen a “large spike” in new enquiries after the government announced last month that anyone in England could move home under new guidance.

However, property market analyst Hometrack has predicted that the sharp rise in buyer demand after the restart of the housing market in England will be “relatively short-lived”.

Ms Stones said Mortgage 1st had received more than 130 new mortgage enquiries on June 3, and that the firm was “very confident” it could “continue to generate leads in high volumes to feed [its] growing adviser population”.

chloe.cheung@ft.com