The ongoing strategic review, which is supported by Friends Life, is being undertaken to ensure SBG becomes best placed to respond to the future opportunities in the rapidly-changing financial services marketplace.
Commenting, John Cowan, Executive Chairman of SBG, said: “The leadership team of SBG has been focused on putting the business on a sound financial and regulatory footing, whilst developing a plan to build a profitable and sustainable business for the future.
“Our objective in the re-structured Group is to play to our strengths. In the mortgage market we will continue to operate our market-leading PMS mortgage club and our appointed representative (AR) network for mortgage firms, together representing around 25% of all UK intermediated mortgage lending.
“A further strength within the Group is our Bankhall business, which is already a strong market-leading brand and has significant growth potential. Bankhall will continue to further enhance its range of services and in doing so respond to the enormous changes and exciting opportunities emerging in the at-retirement market.
“Our future plans mean we will develop our growing Bankhall business and we will continue to grow our mortgage business, including our AR network option for mortgage firms. However, we will no longer offer an AR network option for wealth firms. Wealth firms currently in our network will be given time to become directly authorised with the support of Bankhall. Alternatively, as part of our commitment to offer choice, firms preferring to remain as ARs will be able to move to a new network partner. We are in talks with another advisory group to help facilitate a smooth transition for those firms who would prefer this route.
Cowan continued: “We wish to emphasise this is an update on our ongoing strategic review and we will be sharing further details with advisers in the coming weeks.”
Andy Briggs, Group Chief Executive of Friends Life, commented: “The SBG leadership team is well-placed to continue to deliver improvements to the business and further strengthen it for the future. By building on the work already done to put the business on a strong footing, I am confident that these further initiatives will contribute to developing a successful, profitable and attractive business building on the established strengths in the mortgage business and Bankhall.”