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IFonline hands Abbey stake to ensure loyalty

Abbey National is believed to have been handed a free 10 per cent stake in IFonline in a deal which commits the lender to an exclusive contract with the mortgage platform.

Industry sources say that Abbey – which had vowed to concentrate its efforts on developing its own broker website – has been given the stake in a bid by IFonline to ensure the lender pledges sole allegiance to its trading system.

As the last remaining major lender not committed to a platform, Abbey had been the number one target of both IFonline and main rival Mortgage Brain, which recently secured its fifth and sixth equity partners.

But the sources claim Abbey could not reject an offer which gave it control of a sizeable chunk of one of the leading platforms free.

Its agreement with IFonline is thought to ban it from signing deals with other platforms and could pave the way for the lender to take a majority stake in the company.

IFonline marketing manager Richard Hurst says: “We would be delighted for Abbey to join the platform and add to our list of lenders. We are in talks with everyone and we look forward to welcoming additional big players to the platform.”

Abbey media relations executive Sharon Makin says: “We are in discussions with a small number of key platform prov-iders in the marketplace and as soon as these are finalised, an announcement will be made.”

Pretty Technical Partnership partner Kim North says: “This will probably ensure that IFonline survives but it is not so good for IFAs and mortgage brokers as they would prefer to see all the lenders on one platform.”


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