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Brokers Strangled by FSA red tape and Jargon

You only have to read recent issues of Mortgage Strategy to realise the untenable situation most brokers are in. I’m sure a host of them are staying in the industry by default. After all, what new careers are available to those over 50 who have been self-employed for the past 20 years?

Brokers have to spend huge amounts of time and money trying to attract and retain clients. To give good independent advice they also need to research the mortgage market. Add to that the activities involved in the day-to-day running of small businesses and without Financial Services Authority acronyms you could just about make a profit.

But as soon as you deal with TCF, IDD, ATR, KFI, TNA, CPD and DD among others it’s impossible to make ends meet without working every hour God sends.

So you either go broke spending your time trying to meet the FSA’s requirements or risk being expelled for not providing “good evidence of advanced embedding of a positive, proactive attitude to TCF in your culture”.

It was bad enough when you realised that FSA legislation was being compiled by civil servants, accountants and solicitors who never had to sell anything in their lives but to add insult to injury they seem to have added management jargon to the mix too.

‘Mission charter’, ‘Action plan as a living document’, ‘TCF messages cascaded and reinforced’ – does anyone know who came up with these awful expressions?

I think the main political parties would be happy if the UK followed the European example with mortgages only available from giant banks that offer the same 10-year fixes. This would lead to the disappearance of competition, choice and all small brokerages – not something the FSA would regret, I fear.

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