Solicitors will need mortgage status

Professionals such as solicitors will need authorisation or appointed representative status if they recommend a particular mortgage product under new legislation from the Treasury.

Most respondents to the Treasury&#39s consultation paper agreed that solicitors undertaking conveyancing should not be required to be authorised merely because they offered general advice to the borrower, but that they should if making a positive recommendation of the products of a particular lender.

But other respondents were not convinced that mortgage advice should be treated in the same way as investment advice, because mortgage advice does not require as high a level of knowledge and competence or attract as many risks.

A few expressed concern that the Treasury&#39s proposals would restrict the market and remove a source of objective consumer advice from professional advisers.

Eddie Goldsmith, senior partner with solicitors Goldsmith & Williams and ex-president of the Liverpool Law Society, says: “I think this is only right. Solicitors accept that we are good at the law but that we cannot possibly recommend a particular mortgage product out of the 4,000 available without detailed knowledge and information. I think solicitors will readily accept this limitation as they have already done with financial services, where this situation has been in place for some time.”