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Squirrel sets up mortgage network SQ2

Midlands IFA Squirrel Fin-ancial Management is setting up new mortgage network SQ2.

SQ2 offers brokers the choice of taking appointed representative status, introducer status or registered individual status. Other services available from the network are training and compliance support, mortgage packaging, marketing and advertising support and free sourcing software.

Packaged panel lenders include Bristol & West, GMAC-RFC, Plat-form, Mortgages plc, Royal Bank of Scotland, Chelsea Building Society and First National.

Squirrel has 15 IFAs and 15 mortgage brokers. It says a recent merger with Lichfield-based James & Co, which has three advisers, makes it one of the biggest financial advisory groups in the Midlands.

SQ2 managing director Steve Clawley says: “Thou-sands of mortgage brokers who are not already authorised with the FSA will be weighing up their options in the months ahead. We believe we have a profitable business solution for them and also for authorising directly brokers who may need assistance with gaining permission to continue their mortgage and general insurance activities.”

James & Co director Jim Higgins says: “We have taken this decision against the background of a huge upheaval within the financial services industry which has reduced the numbers of IFA firms and insurance companies alike.

“The trend is very much towards strength and security in numbers so for James & Co, the merger with another bigger company represents a logical step forward.”

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