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L&G warns advisers dangers of regulation

Mortgage advisers were yesterday warned that the significant changes facing the industry will strain their businesses or sink them unless they gear up now.

Mortgage regulation, general insurance regulation, margin pressures and Sellers Packs are just some of the major upheavals due to impact the housing industry within the next few years.

Unless mortgage advisers act now and plan their business strategy accordingly they risk being left in the cold as the new marketplace emerges.

The remarks were made by Stephen Smith, Legal & General&#39s Director of Housing Marketing during a seminar yesterday.

Smith predicted that mortgage advisers who prosper through these changes will be those who maximise their use of technology and adapt to the new world order in the housing market.

He told delegates: “Increasing regulation, more demanding customers and reducing margins are challenges that mortgage advisers must face up to if they want to remain active beyond the end of 2004.

“The technology is already available to help mortgage advisers prosper in tomorrow&#39s market.

“It&#39s available for both mortgages and the associated insurances. A combination of offline and online packages already exist that enable advisers to complete quotations and applications before submitting them directly into the processing systems of both lenders and insurers.

“Plans for the next generation of technology to help mortgage advisers comply with the new regulations for mortgages and general insurance are already on the drawing board and the consultation process is well underway.”

And Smith went on to remind delegates that the Government has announced late 2004 as the date when new mortgage and general insurance regulation will take effect.

And after that the Homes Bill can be expected to be implemented and the industry can also expect the results of an Office of Fair Trading study into estate agency practices.

And he adds: “With so much change in the air, flexibility on the part of mortgage advisers is key. Advisers must be prepared to be flexible to adapt their businesses as fresh changes are introduced which require changes of practice.”

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