Both supermarket giant Tesco and Richard Branson’s Virgin Group have announced they believe the time is right for the mortgage market to be opened up to new lenders as several brands are reducing the number of mortgage deals they offer.

Last year, when Northern Rock was experiencing trouble, Virgin showed an interest in the mortgage market and made a bid to takeover Northern Rock, however, their bid was rejected and in February the ailing bank was nationalised.

Now, Virgin seems determined to expand their Virgin Money brand, which offers credit cards already.

Britain’s largest supermarket chain, Tesco, also has a financial-services section already, which offers credit cards, savings accounts, insurance and loans.  Tesco recently bought out the other half of its Tesco Personal Finance brand from the Royal Bank of Scotland for approximately £1 billion.

The supermarket stated that it intends to offer current accounts within the next twelve months and mortgages ‘in due course’.

Richard Branson stated he is considering launching a Virgin mortgage product in order to offer consumers more choice and also because he believes mortgage are actually a more viable business proposition than they have been in recent years.  In 1997, Virgin did offer offset mortgages in partnership with the Royal Bank of Scotland but sold its shared to RBOS in early 2003 and left the mortgage business completely.

It will be interesting to see what these developments will bring to the mortgage market and if any other brands will be looking to add to their own offerings.  As the mortgage market recovers, we are likely to see several partnerships and some interesting new mortgage deals and mortgage types come to the market.

The CeMAP exam is adjusted as the curriculum changes once or twice a year to update itself, so it is important to make sure that a CeMAP training company keeps its course materials up to date if you are considering training to become a mortgage advisor.

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