Mortgage and insurance network Stonebridge has processed over £1bn worth of mortgage applications during July 2020.

The network reported a record month for lending applications, with member firms and their advisers placing more than 5,500 cases during the month.

Stonebridge also said its purchase and remortgage mix had now returned to a more typical split, but with a predictable dominance of purchase cases which accounted for 58% of applications received in July.

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Stonebridge has continued to grow its adviser recruitment, with 22 joining in July to increase the network’s total adviser headcount to 709.

The number of firms which have applied to join, now pending authorisation, is also at its highest ever level.

Between Stonebridge and Revolution – its wholly-owned trading platform – the business now has a full complement of staff; those employees placed on furlough returned to work on 1 August.

No redundancies have been made in any of the Stonebridge group businesses.

Stonebridge offices in both Basildon and Nottingham have now reopened with safety and social distancing measures in place.

The network said it was fully confident it could continue to meet the highest standards of service with such an arrangement and that its offices were safe for its employees who preferred to return from remote working.

Rob Clifford (pictured), chief executive of Stonebridge, said: “During what has been an incredibly challenging time for all, we are very pleased to be able to announce that July saw our [appointed representative (AR)] firms and advisers place a record amount of lending applications, exceeding the £1bn mark after a very strong June.

“August is also looking positive, and the post-lockdown enthusiasm plus stamp duty changes are clearly creating increased demand for advice which our AR firms are well-placed to take advantage of, with the strong level of support we provide as their network.

“Throughout the year, despite the pandemic, we’ve seen a growing demand for the Stonebridge proposition from other advisory firms which has boosted our recruitment, but it’s also clear that our existing members also want to grow their businesses in order to meet the greater demand, and our recruitment team are highly experienced at helping to make this happen.

“By the 1st August we had been able to bring all furloughed roles back to the business, meaning we are now working again at the full complement of staff.

“All this combined, we feel Stonebridge and Revolution are bouncing back to impressive business levels.

“Our core aim is to continue to deliver the highest quality of support to our firms and advisers, making sure they can take advantage of the current market and lay the very strongest of foundations for whatever the market may have in store for us.”