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Surprised rivals hope link-up will not mean exclusive deals

Rivals in the mortgage market say they are bewildered why a successful organisation such as Mortgageforce would choose to be bought by a building society.

The feeling in the market since M-Day has been that more mortgage firms will consider being taken over to increase capital and maintain competitiveness but few knew of Mortgageforce’s plans.

Charcol product director Walter Avrilli says he is surprised at the move as Mortgageforce was linked as a possible buyer when it par-ted from Bradford & Bingley but he believes this is the start of a trend.

Hamptons International Mortgages managing director Kevin Duffy says that while B&B reversed out of its ownership of Charcol, it is surprising that West Brom has taken the plunge and acquired Mortgageforce.

West Brom has created interesting products for the intermediary community but brokers say the firm would be the first to admit that this relationship needs to be enhanced.

Duffy says: “Hopefully, West Brom will not make exclusivity deals with Mortgageforce and take a broader approach to the market.”

Park Row Mortgages managing director Kevin Paterson says: “We have seen more lenders try and buy distribution because the market is not as it is used to be. It is much more tightly controlled. Quite often, these acquisitions are not for strategic investment but for distribution purposes.”

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