A PIPE dream quickly became a reality when three furloughed colleagues took the plunge and launched their own business.

Graham Jones, Nick Blake and John Nurden set up Ebor Mortgages in York during lockdown to offer an independent mortgage and protection advice.

With 40 years of mortgage experience within the financial services industry between them, the three directors are also the advisors at Ebor Mortgages.

The business is not tied to using certain lenders, but has the option of researching the whole of the market for both mortgage customers and those looking at life insurance, critical illness cover and income protection.

Graham said their experience gave them a head start in finding the best deals and options for clients.

He said the three directors had previously worked together at Ardent Financial Planning.

Graham said Nick came up with the idea for the new business when they were all on furlough.

What started as a pipe dream quickly snowballed in to something real.

“Ebor Mortgages has grown out of Ardent Financial Planning in York," said Graham.

“Through Covid, we formed our own mortgage brokerage to provide a more streamlined, mortgage-focused business which solely concentrates on providing the best level of service and whole of market mortgage advice for our clients.

“It was all hands on deck managing the set-up of the new company and liaising with Ardent. It has been a really amicable split and we still provide mortgage support to all of Ardent’s clients and we will moving forward.

“We still love working with them and they will still be working with us very closely.

“We wanted to have a business that provided a number one service for whole of market, independent mortgage and protection advice.”

Graham added: “We have grown from strength to strength since launching in October and have very recently been granted direct authorisation by the Financial Conduct Authority. We have also just obtained an office in Acomb which we will start working out of when Covid restrictions lift.”

Also part of the team is Fiona Stockdale, an administration manager.

Graham said their strength was that they all live in York and want to provide a local, friendly, efficient service.

“We also want to target the wider audience, but it is always advantageous to know exactly who you are talking to and that they are local."