Charcol in fund superstore ploy

Mortgage provider Charcol is to reposition its online mortgage brokering service, Charcolonline, as a fund supermarket, offering a variety of other companies’ financial services.

Charcol marketing director Maria Davlantes says the move follows research which revealed that customers see the company as “authoritative about the financial sector”.

Charcol will reposition itself later this year. Although the services which will be provided have not yet been disclosed, fund supermarket products typically include pensions, ISAs and insurance. Davlantes says that Charcol will still provide mortgages.

The company is reviewing its marketing strategy and aims to maintain awareness of the brand, which has a recognition rate of 28 per cent. But it has no plans to review its work with Masius, which created the ads featuring journalist Jonathan Meades last year.

The company will continue to broker mortgages through its ten Charcol branches in South-east England and through estate agents nationwide.

Davlantes says: “We’re trying to provide a full service to online customers. We have a strong customer base and we’ve been thinking about what else we can provide.”

Charcol, formerly known as John Charcol, was rebranded in 1999 when it was bought by Bradford & Bingley. The online arm was launched in November 1999 and offers 500 mortgage products from 45 lenders.

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