News that the Financial Services Authority is delaying the implementation of its approved persons regime for mortgage brokers and bank staff until 2012/13 was disappointing.
The individual registration of brokers was one of the truly good elements of the Mortgage Market Review and pressure seems to have led to this being pushed back.
Consumers deserve the protection and comfort of knowing that anyone talking to them about taking on the commitment of a mortgage is qualified and individually regulated, as well as the organisation that they work for.
This is the only way to ensure that those who are not up to the mark cannot just reappear somewhere else. I am talking about brokers as well as those who work for retail banks.
People deserve the protection of knowing that anyone talking to them about a mortgage is qualified and individually regulated
Recently I have had clients coming to me who had already approached banks directly and I have seen some shocking Key Facts Illustrations that had been issued by them, including one for a two-year interest-only mortgage for a 72 year old customer.
The name that the government is giving to its new regulatory body includes the words consumer protection. What better way to get ready for this than to push this one element through?
I would urge the regulator to reconsider its decision to delay the extension of the approved persons regime to brokers.
This is something that needs to be done to enhance professionalism within the industry and improve the mortgage process in general, but more importantly to demonstrate that customers deserve to be treated fairly.