Network Stonebridge reports strong protection growth

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Stonebridge Group, the mortgage and insurance network, has announced continued growth in protection activity and commission levels over the course of the last 12 months.

Quarter 1 figures for 2015 show a 68% increase in life applications by Stonebridge's appointed representative (AR) firms compared to the same quarter in 2014.

This is an outperformance of the growth in mortgage applications (59%) seen over the same period, the network said.

The mortgage to life ratio - the number of clients taking out both a mortgage and protection cover at the same time - has increased from 44% a year ago up to 50%.

Stonebridge said it had "increased its cross-sale performance with a continued focus on sales and systems development plus a strong working relationship with its insurance partners."

The increased activity meant completed life and protection commissions increased considerably over the course of the year - with quarter one 2015 up 79% on quarter one 2014, and up 4.7% on quarter four 2014.

Quarter 1 2015 figures for general insurance applications have also increased by 49% on the same period in 2014.

These figures follow Stonebridge's recently announced strong yearly and monthly growth in the number and value of mortgages it completed in quarter one this year.

Compared to quarter one 2014, the number of mortgage completion cases for the first three months of 2015 were up 59%. Meanwhile the value of those cases were up by 62%.

The network has also seen an ongoing increase in the number of AR firms within it - an independent review of network numbers for 2014 showed Stonebridge had added 51 ARs. This was an increase of 22% on 2013.

Richard Adams, managing director of Stonebridge Group, said: "Given the increase in mortgage activity last year you might have expected some advisers to put these product areas on the back-burner while they deal with an increase number of mortgage clients, however this is something we do not condone.

"We always encourage our advisers to see the opportunities that exist through diversification and cross-selling and our most recent figures for quarter one show an increasing amount of activity rather than a depression in sales that some firms would have experienced."

He added: "There is always work to be done and our aim is to get our mortgage to life ratio up even higher than 50% however the trend is certainly in the right direction and firms are able to see the increased income that can be generated in this area.

"As we continue to spread the message about making the most of clients' wants and needs in these sectors we are confident that we can improve this figure even further. For us, it is about ensuring advisers recognise the opportunity that exists and how Stonebridge has everything in place in order to help them develop their propositions, create leads and convert them."

 

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