Property centre set to offer financial advice

The Glasgow Solicitors Property Centre (GSPC) is to provide financial services to its clients in a bid to increase its presence in the local property market.

The centre, which has been operating for more than three years and has over 200 law firm members, has joined the Solicitors Independent Financial Advisers (Sifa) to get assistance with running its financial arm.

Ronnie Fulton, a solicitor at Hamilton Burns & Moore and a member of the centre, said: "We are setting up a mortgage desk in the centre and will staff it with our own independent financial adviser."

The centre provides members with a weekly list of properties, a showroom where properties are displayed and a database on which client requirements can be matched with available properties.

Fulton predicted that the financial services arm would be up and running before the end of the year, and said that it was well on the way to recruiting an adviser.

He added that the centre would begin with one independent financial adviser.

"We'll suck it and see," he said about future recruitment.

According to Sifa chair, Ian Muirhead, solicitors in the Glasgow centre felt there was "leakage" because those firms which were not offering financial services themselves were "handing it outside to estate agents".

Other SPCs in Scotland have around 85 per cent of the estate agency business. The GSPC has 30 per cent after three years in the market and is aiming to increase this.

Sifa will provide training, helplines, news bulletins and marketing services to the centre.