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MS Leader: Plaudits for Sesame idea

When the Mortgage Market Review first hit in 2009 the one bright spot was its plan to individually register brokers.

The idea that brokers would have an individual number that followed them no matter where they went was considered by many as a key step in further professionalising the industry and also ensuring that anyone dodgy had no place to hide.

Networks and lenders frequently complain that they kick out advisers only to find that they’ve reappeared at another brokerage or appointed representative elsewhere.

So it was frankly bizarre when the FSA, having actually come up with a good idea, delayed and then shelved the plans.

The fact that Sesame Bankhall Group’s George Higginson is looking to build a system to individually register brokers as an interim measure is fantastic news then.

Higginson spoke passionately at the network’s annual dinner last week about the matter and how important he felt it was for the industry to get something going sooner rather than later.

However on a practical and financial basis other firms need to also get involved and help out. Many questions remain about how an individual register created by the industry would actually work practically. Who would Police it for a start. What role would the FSA play? And if the industry and operate a register would that lead to any discount in the rising fees the regulator charges to the firms involved?

Meanwhile, the speech by the chairman of the Council of Mortgage Lenders at the trade body’s annual conference last week continued its rich history of provoking the eire of mortgage brokers.

It still seems unclear what the CML’s chairman Martijn Van Der Heijden, who is also head of lending at direct-only lender HSBC, was actually going on about by “hidden proc fee differentials” other than as a deliberate provocation to a sector of the market he competes against.

But was the CML speech really the appropriate platform to indulge in this type of turf rivalry?



Paul Smee: Interest-only not ‘low-hanging claims fruit’

Claims management firms will find that interest-only mortgages are not “low-hanging claims fruit” and the product will not be the next big misselling scandal, according to Council of Mortgage Lenders director general Paul Smee.

MS 1211 Media Spotlight

Media Spotlight: The Great British Property Scandal by George Clarke

Britain is in the middle of a housing crisis. No surprise there. What is a surprise after watching The Great British Property Scandal, is the number of perfectly good houses which have been abandoned and are in the process of being demolished, forcing thousands of people out of their homes. Almost a year ago, architect […]

HMRC launches ad campaign targeting tax cheats

HM Revenue & Customs has launched an advertising campaign warning tax cheats to declare all their income “before it is too late”. The campaign, which launched today using outdoor advertising, is part of HMRC’s activity to tackle crime and failure to pay the right amount of tax. HMRC has set up a website to […]

London rents up 32% in three years

London tenants are struggling with rents which are now 32 per cent higher than three years ago, according to research from HomeLet.

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Considerations for overseas workers in Germany

With Germany’s strong economic growth leading the eurozone’s recovery, many UK businesses are keen to be part of the success story: recent data shows that there are currently more than 280,000* employees working for a UK-controlled company in the country.


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