Shares in Mortgage Advice Bureau (Holdings) PLC, which has some 2,000 mortage advisors nationwide, crashed yesterday on the news that it has been forced to write-off its £2.8m investment in the ill-fated Boomin portal which went into liquidation last month.
The shares plummeted from around 620p on Wednesday to a low of about 405p in early trading yesterday before recovering later to at about 506p.
In a Trading Statement MAB said:
“…we are disappointed that Boomin has recently been put into liquidation, having not been able to secure new investors in this challenging economic climate, which leads to a £2.8m non-cash write off for our investment.”
The Group also reported that it has suffered from the effects of the disastrous mini-budget of Kwasi Kwarteng, announced during Prime Minister Liz Truss’ brief occupation of No 10 Downing Street.
“Following announcement of the Group’s strong interim results for the six months ended 30 June 2022 and a large gain in MAB’s market share, the mini-budget on 23 September 2022 created a significantly heightened level of uncertainty which had a direct negative impact on the mortgage market, including an immediate rise in mortgage interest rates, the withdrawal of many mortgage products by lenders, a rapid tightening in underwriting and reducing availability of credit.
“As a result, house purchase activity was significantly reduced and re-financing was also impacted. This situation persisted as borrowers and lenders awaited some level of reassurance and clarity from the Autumn Statement.
These extreme market and lending conditions severely impacted activity levels across all of the Group’s product lines, with written business in October and November circa 50% below expected levels.
“The reduction in mortgage activity and new house sales is expected to persist until early 2023, after which activity levels are expected to start to slowly build.”
Peter Brodnicki, CEO of MAB, commented:
“The consequences of the so-called mini-budget have been quick and far-reaching. Overnight our market moved from being fairly stable and reasonably confident, to almost the polar opposite. The sudden and unexpected pace of mortgage rate increases, combined with the tightening of mortgage lending criteria, have resulted in some customers pausing both home-moving and re-financing plans.
“The recent Autumn Statement and the various Government changes prior to that have helped to stabilise markets. Although macro uncertainty remains for many reasons, we expect mortgage rates to continue to stabilise, allowing some customers to re-enter the home-moving market and also re-finance at more competitive mortgage rates than those seen in recent months.”
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