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Confusion over FSA numbers

There was growing confusion last week as to whether or not the Financial Services Authority is responsible for supplying lenders with brokers’ FSA numbers.

Many lenders have been relying on the FSA to send them updated lists as brokers become regulated.

But although the FSA is producing regular register disks of authorised firms, it say lenders can only get these upon request and must pay for them.

Today is the first time lenders will be able to see the list of authorised brokers on the FSA website.

Ben Stafford, policy officer at Association of Mortgage Intermediaries, says: “Lenders can buy a copy of the register. The FSA has sent out two updated registers in the past fortnight.”

Robin Gordon-Walker, spokesman for the FSA, says: “Each intermediary that gets authorised receives an authorisation number.

“It is their responsibility to pass this on to the lender, as is stated in their scope of permission letter. A register extract is available and lenders can order one.”

But many intermediaries were not aware the onus was on them to inform lenders of their regulatory status. They believed the FSA would take on this responsibility.

Intermediaries are also having problems with the FSA’s guide to mortgages.

One intermediary was informed when he phoned the FSA’s helpdesk, that the guide was not available for technical reasons and no timescale was given as to when it would be available again.

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