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Stonebridge Group reveals sustained growth through 2017 PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 07 November 2017
Stonebridge Group, the mortgage and insurance network, has today announced sustained growth in its business application and completions across its three key product areas. 

In its core mortgage, life/protection and general insurance activities, business volumes were all up:

Mortgage applications for the nine months to the end of September 2017 totalled £5.607bn – up 32% on the same period; mortgage completions were 31% up at £4.082bn.
Life application premium levels were up 32% at £12.76m with £10.6m completed during the nine months, up 23% on the first nine months of 2016.
Finally, £464.6k of general insurance application business was placed through Stonebridge, up 20%; general insurance premium levels were up to £657.4k – a 26% increase on the first three quarters of 2016.

Stonebridge says that the Group has benefited from significant activity from its advisory firms across a number of sectors, but specifically in the remortgage market. 48% of all its mortgage business is remortgage activity; 17% is buy-to-let, with the Group recording levels only just below its long-term average - 78% of all Stonebridge’s buy-to-let business is remortgage.

It has also highlighted that the difference in growth between its mortgage and life volumes is the result of the increased proportion of remortgage business being written by advisers.

Stonebridge puts its growth down to a continuing increase in new appointed representative (AR) firms plus increases in productivity levels by its entire membership.

At the end of 2016, the network announced it had achieved 500 active advisers, spread across 226 firms. As of today, this has grown to 538 advisers in 258 firms.

Last year Stonebridge also launched its Genus proposition for directly authorised (DA) firms. It now has over 230 advisers using the proposition and anticipates this will continue to grow throughout the rest of 2017 and beyond.

Richard Adams, Managing Director of Stonebridge Group and Stonebridge Genus, commented: “It’s particularly pleasing to announce another strong set of business application and completion figures for the nine-month period up to the end of quarter three this year. There’s no doubting 2017 has been a very interesting year, particularly in the mortgage market, and unsurprisingly it has been the remortgage sector that has underpinned much of our mortgage market growth.

“This looks unlikely to change anytime soon – indeed with this month’s increase in Bank Base Rate (BBR) we fully anticipate many more existing borrowers seeking out quality advice to ensure they are not over-paying on their monthly mortgage payments, be that via tracker or SVR products.

“Interestingly, for all the talk of a ‘crisis’ in buy-to-let with the greater level of regulatory and political intervention in the sector, our buy-to-let mortgage business has held up very strongly. Again, much of this is fuelled by existing landlords seeking out remortgages as competition for business in this part of the market remains strong. It will be interesting to see how much growth we see in limited company buy-to-let, particularly for purchase, in the months ahead as this appears to be an area where there is an increase in demand and more lenders willing to offer such products.

“Our continued focus on supporting advisers and firms to provide both life and GI advice to their clients continues to pay dividends, with growth over the last nine months across both these core areas. Again, remortgage activity often drives such business and we believe it’s imperative that advisers provide advice in as many areas as possible to ensure a full holistic offering to clients.

“Both our network and Stonebridge Genus propositions are focused on offering advisers all the support, technology and provider access available in today’s marketplace and we have ambitious targets and plans for 2018 that we will be shortly announcing. These figures are down to the hard work and dedication of all our advisers and we will be striving to offer them access to all kinds of business opportunities over that period.”

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