Countrywide expands its financial services business with Mortgage Intelligence acquisition

Countrywide

Monday, April 4, 2011

Countrywide's mortgage market share jumps with purchase of 6,500 strong broker network and club

Countrywide, the UK's largest mortgage broker and property services Group, has today announced the acquisition of Mortgage Intelligence, signalling a significant milestone in Countrywide's ambitious growth plans.

Established in 1996, Mortgage Intelligence, which merged with Mortgage Next in 2009, has become one of the UK's largest mortgage distribution channels, providing premium broker services to over 6,500 mortgage intermediaries under the brands Mortgage Intelligence and Mortgage Next.

Based in Bournemouth, Mortgage Intelligence is a leading network which completed on £3.5billion worth of mortgages in 2010. Mortgage Intelligence will operate independently of Countrywide's existing 650 mortgage consultants. Sally Laker will continue to oversee the business as Managing Director reporting to Nigel Stockton, Countrywide's Financial Services Director and will also join Countrywide's senior management team.

This acquisition will take Countrywide's mortgage market share 6 percent of the total market and more than 11 percent of the intermediary market.

Announcing the news, Grenville Turner, Chief Executive of Countrywide, said: "The broker market has endured some challenging times over recent years; the acquisition of Mortgage Intelligence / Mortgage Next signals an exciting new chapter for their members and Countrywide. Work is already underway to see how we can use our expertise to introduce unique benefits to clients of both networks, which we will be sharing details of over the coming months."

Nigel Stockton, Financial Services Director at Countrywide, said; "I'm delighted to welcome Mortgage Intelligence / Mortgage Next on board. They offer both leading network and club propositions with fantastic potential and an outstanding team of staff.

"We feel this acquisition will significantly enhance our position as the UK's largest mortgage broker and will add another dimension to our strong financial services offering. Countrywide's long-term strategy is to improve the scope and scale of its financial services offering to give all our agents, consultants and new IFA clients the best selling tools in the market. We will also be actively talking to firms and representatives about our new proposition with Mortgage Intelligence and the benefits we can offer."

Sally Laker, Managing Director of Mortgage Intelligence, said:"Countrywide's investment will provide us with an exciting platform to develop the business and take it from strength to strength. Countrywide is extremely well capitalised,  dynamic and forward thinking which will enable us to deliver some very attractive incentives for new and existing members alike while still maintaining the special culture that our members love. This deal is fantastic news for our staff and members; I look forward to continuing to work with them and our new colleagues at Countywide.

Nigel added: "Countrywide has trebled its market share over the past five years and I'm looking forward to seeing how we can add value to Mortgage Intelligence by investing in its staff, services and infrastructure to quickly grow their network while building on the success of our existing panel business."

To arrange interviews and find out more, please contact:

Caroline Somers   
Head of Communications    
Tel: +44 (0)7721439043   
Visit: www.countrywide.co.uk

NOTES TO EDITOR:
Countrywide is the UK's largest and most successful estate agency and property services Group, operating more than 1,300 associated branches across England, Scotland and Wales.

Countrywide's network of expertise helps more people move than any other business in the UK and is a leading provider of estate agency, lettings, mortgage services, land and new homes, franchising, auctions, surveying, conveyancing and corporate property management services.

Countrywide's award-winning service has earned the business 63 high-profile industry awards in recent years, with customers voting Countrywide the Best Large Estate Agency Chain and Best Large Lettings Chain at the 2010 Estate Agency of The Year Awards. Other accolades include National Letting Agency of the Year and Residential Mortgage Broker of the Year at the 2010 Negotiator Awards, and Best Use of Technology at the 2010 Mortgage Finance Gazette Awards.

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