Mortgage and insurance network Stonebridge Group has reported an increase across all three of its core product areas – mortgages, protection and general insurance.
For January to June 2019, ,ortgage completions valued at over £3.6 billion (up 15% year-on-year), while mortgage applications placed through the business were valued at just short of £4.6 billion, again up year-on-year.
Stonebridge said that it has seen a shift in its purchase/remortgage business split during 2019 – at the end of 2018 this was 43% purchase/57% remortgage, compared to a healthy swing back to purchase business, with 52% purchase/48% remortgage seen in the first half of this year.
Total life business volumes from appointed representative (AR) firms also increased life commissions on application by 9% and life completion commissions by 12% compared to the same period last year.
In addition, the network’s general insurance business levels improved throughout the first half of 2019, up 18% on the first six months of 2018.
Stonebridge also revealed its adviser numbers had continued to grow as forecast during 2019, from 608 at the end of December 2018 to 623 at the end of June. These are spread across 303 AR partner firms. It also revealed it had a further 56 advisers across 25 AR partner firms agreed and pending authorisation by Stonebridge.
Jo Carrasco, business partnerships director at Stonebridge Group, said: “We’re very pleased to be able to announce continued and significant growth in business activity during the first half of 2019 in our core mortgage, protection and GI product lines. This is down to a combination of factors such as our very pleasing growth in advisers, but also in terms of the activity levels of our existing firms and the ability they have to take advantage of the market opportunities that present themselves.
“It’s interesting to note how we’ve seen a shift in terms of purchase and remortgage mix. There is a widespread feeling in the market that purchase business is down right across the board, but our 2019 has been marked by a move towards purchasing not away from it. Indeed, the majority of our mortgage business has been for purchase this year and I suspect we are bucking the trend as we help our member firms win more share.
“Overall, we continue to offer a range of opportunities to our advisory firms and it’s very pleasing to see them taking these up. In particular, our Revolution system offers a range of both client-facing and back-office platform that greatly enhances firm efficiencies and helps grow business levels.
“Our ability to deliver a quality network proposition to ambitious brokers remains a key strength and we continue to bring in advisers to the Stonebridge fold because of our reputation and our commitment to them. We would urge any firm seeking this type of support to contact us to see how we can help support and grow their business.”