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Moves to double broker business by 2008

Woolwich plans to double its business through intermediaries by 2008 following an internal review.

The Barclays-owned firm has reviewed its business model after Barclays chief executive John Varley admitted that its performance in the mortgage market had not been good enough this year.

Woolwich says it wants to increase its volume of intermediary business from 4bn in 2005 to 8bn by 2008. It also plans to dramatically increase the ratio of broker-led business to direct business from 35 per cent to 60 per cent by 2008.

The firm plans major improvements to its website which will enable brokers to get a decision in principle.

Staff will be retrained and more will be recruited in sales roles. Woolwich says it has no plans to launch into the sub-prime or equity-release sector at present.

Intermediary business director David Finlay says: “It has been a complete internal review, where we have sat down and looked at what we are doing. The review is ongoing and is part of a major investment to improve our performance.”

London & Country head of communications David Hollingworth says: “They are not completely out of the woods yet and are still not necessarily the leader in terms of processing.”

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