The network model used in the mortgage market provides a huge benefit to their members, their appointed representatives (ARs), from exclusive product offerings to assistance in dealing with regulatory and compliance issues. The network is an arm of support utilised by many brokers.

Indeed the need for networks within the regulatory regime may increase following the Financial Services Authority (FSA) move to a more principle-based approach to regulation, with brokers turning to networks to clarify issues, or for support and guidance.

Recent action by the FSA, stopping four firms from recruiting members, means that networks will be continuing their efforts to improve their service and can only help to benefit ARs and those looking at the possibilities of joining a network over the coming months.

The instant support and contact with a network means the model has changed considerably since their introduction into the market. This evolution of the network proposition looks set to continue, which, again, can only serve to help ARs, and the market as a whole, as a number of networks now offer facilities on an ad-hoc business to directly authorised (DA) firms.

While many intermediaries like to keep all of their controls in house, so that they know exactly where they are with regards to certain issues, the network model is one that has survived regulation, and looks set to continue.