A Midland financial services networking organisation said its results were defying the credit crunch and added it wants to spread the message that it is not all doom and gloom in the Midlands.
Personal Touch Financial Services – a co-operative of money experts who specialise in general insurance, mortgages, investments, pensions and protection – has grown from a turnover of £50,000 to more than £100 million in just 14 years.
And it said its goal was to create a “financial services supermarket” with branches across the UK.
Personal Touch Birmingham will be holding a seminar at Birmingham City Football Club on January 8, drawing together advisers from the broad spectrum of financial services to re-emphasise that there is still a burgeoning market, despite the credit crunch, it said.
Lee Gardner, one of the directors of Personal Touch Birmingham, said: “We aim to provide a complete support network for advisers from every discipline in financial services.
“What we are doing is quite unique in the country. We want to be proactive in pulling together specialists from every financial discipline.
“There is enough doom and gloom about at the moment and we want to reassure IFAs that there are many other ways of generating income without selling mortgages.
“The message we want to deliver is that advisers can survive, particularly if they are part of a network as strong as ours.
“If one of our advisers can’t provide a particular service, there will be another one in the group who can.”
Rob Chapman, another founder, stressed the need for advisers to diversify into other areas. He added now was the perfect time for advisers to remind their clients that personal advice was the key to financial health.
“People now need more financial advice than ever before and we are here to help find business deals for our members,” he said.
“Not many people even realise, for example, that they might be paying ten times more than they need to for credit card insurance. They might need advice on redundancy insurance or income protection.
“The market is still there – it is just changing.”
Personal Touch Financial Services, which was launched in 1994 in Solihull, has become one of the most stable networks in the country with more than 40 offices and more than 2,500 members.
Based in Knowle, near Solihull, Personal Touch Birmingham currently boasts 140 members and Mr Gardner hopes the regular seminars will attract more financial experts into the fold.
The first meeting on January 8 will comprise a number of presentations covering self-build mortgages, debt management, selling skills, life and critical illness and trust training with speakers from Synergy, Personal Touch debt management, Buildstore, The Hartford and Scottish Equitable.
Mr Gardner said: “Our regional support centre will cover Birmingham, Walsall and Wolverhampton providing a local support structure for all of our members, looking after their training needs, development, offering back office support and generating business leads for one another.”