Time to take the direct approach

Early last week the FSA launched its direct authorisation process for mortgage and general insurance firms. This means you can now register for an application pack which contains redesigned application forms running to just 30 tick box-style pages.

Although there is plenty of time to decide which road to regulation to follow, Mortgage Strategy urges everyone to register for a direct authorisation application pack. Only then will you really be able to consider the implications of becoming directly authorised whilst giving yourself time to work out what you have to do and what help you will require from the FSA. You can register online for your application pack at www.fsa.gov.uk/mgi or order one from the FSA contact centre on 0845 60 555 25.

Mortgage regulation starts in 356 days on October 31 2004 and the FSA will not start accepting completed application forms until mid-January 2004. After October 31 it will be illegal for any firm that is not FSA-authorised or an appointed representative of an authorised firm to do mortgage business.

To guide you through the next 12 months Mortgage Strategy has produced a wall chart which you will find on pages 28 and 29, either side of our pull out seminar guide for next week&#39s Mortgage Expo. Our wall chart, provided by the FSA, gives authorisation and publication milestones and key dates when the FSA will start working with firms.

If you are one of the 4,000 brokers expected at next week&#39s Mortgage Expo in London&#39s Earls Court 2 you will find our seminar guide indispensable in making the most of your time at the two-day event.

Meanwhile, Mortgage Strategy has teamed up with Northumbria University to assess the nature of successful key account relationship development between lenders and brokers. Complete our short survey online at www.mortgagestrategy.co.uk and you will be entered into a draw to receive two tickets to the Mortgage Strategy awards in April 2004. Given the approach of regulation the findings, to be published exclusively in Mortgage Strategy, will be of interest to all involved in the industry.