Mortgage Choice is hoping to eventually move into mortgage management, according to chief executive Michael Russell.
Russell revealed that an eventual transition into a mortgage manager would be the likely second stage of the strategy being kicked off by the launch of a major bank-backed white label product in the near future.
However, Russell stressed that this is not likely in the immediate future, and is only likely when "sufficient flows" have been achieved in the white-label product, and once the firm knows 'what it is designing will be attractive". He also commented that the main impetus behind going down this route would be to "increase the number of touch points with customers".
Russell also commented that the rationale behind launching its own white label is twofold: firstly to introduce more lender competition to its panel in the best interests of customers, and secondly to guard against blowout in turnaround times.
"We don't ever want to be held ransom again to turnaround times like we were in the GFC, when we were experiencing three-week turnarounds at points," said Russell. "Pursuing this solution will hopefully insulate us from that, as we'll be able to agree certain service level agreements with the lender on issues such as that."
He also explained that the product would not be branded Mortgage Choice, in order to ensure that the loan stands on its own two feet and is not given "an uplift" by being branded Mortgage Choice. He also stressed that franchisees would not receive higher commissions.
"Our franchisees are remunerated on a paid-the-same basis, and that will continue to be the case," he commented. "That's been driven very strongly from the bottom: our brokers strongly believe in the paid-the-same principle."
Russell also commented that the advent of the white label product, "wasn't terribly innovative".
"We're certainly not the first company to do this – in fact, we're probably one of the last," he said. "We're essentially just adding another lender to our panel."
Commissions could rise as competition returns