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Countrywide financial services arm launches cost cutting review

Countrywide is launching a cost cutting review in its financial services division after a weak mortgage market in the first half of 2012.

In its Q2 investor report, published today, the firm reveals its financial services turnover remained static compared to the same period in 2011 at £15.6m.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation fell 24 per cent from £2.7m in the first half of 2011 to £2m this year. Its operating profits fell 48 per cent from £1.3m to £688,000.

The property giant says continued uncertainty in the banking sector has put pressure on mortgage volumes and significantly impacted the performance of financial services. It says there is both stricter lending criteria and higher pricing than six months ago.

Countrywide financial services director Nigel Stockton says: “While we expected modest lending growth in 2012 and invested in mortgage distribution in preparation for this growth, it is clear that mortgage volumes in 2012 are going to be even lower than 2011.

“We are focussed on responding accordingly and all operational overheads are being reviewed as we focus on reducing costs in line with the reduced market. We expect natural turnover to allow us to achieve the appropriate level of coverage to ensure we deliver growth in our full year results.”

Countrywide says its investments in Mortgage Intelligence and Capital Private Finance are performing in line with expectations.

The number of mortgages arranged in Q2 rose slightly from 13,338 to 13,475 as did the value, growing from £1.6bn to £1.7bn.

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  1. simon chamberlain 26th July 2012 at 1:49 pm

    cost cutting their advisory arm , i thought they were attempting to buy IfA firms in a consolidation play . Beware any potential acquisitions i would say !!! Particularly where ex intrinsic and allied dunbar people are concerned .

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