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Time we all stood up to the industry bullies

It is not very often that I have to issue health warnings to intermediaries, but a couple of situations have arisen this week that force me to do so. My warning is to choose product provider partners with care.

Why do I say this?

First, every week I welcome back to the directly authorised community a former appointed representative of a network and they always have an interesting story to tell.

The tale last week’s transferee told was about insurance renewal commission on previous sales. It transpires that the only way the firm could secure the commission it was owed was to buy in compliance services from its old network.

It found it could have bought similar services from several professional sources for a much lower price but had been forced to pay up just to receive its past commission.

Second, I read in Mortgage Strategy that a retired intermediary is no longer being paid insurance re-newal commission on policies previously sold. As the intermediary has retired they can no longer service the clients but surely while the policies remain in force they deserve the commission.

It seems the Financial Services Authority agrees on this one, as I see nothing that prevents such payments in its rules.

Some readers might take a fairly relaxed view of these situations but they shouldn’t.

Don’t forget most brokers are small firms of self-employed people – usually less than three. So why do large companies bully their previous broker customers? Because they think they can.

Someone has to fight for such intermediaries. Can we rely on the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries? Its board is made up of representatives of large companies.

No, brokers have to take action themselves. The only way to deal with bullies is to stand up to them and in our industry that means brokers should stop dealing with firms that don’t treat other brokers fairly – there are plenty of competitors that do.

Individual brokers might not think this issue affects them but it does. In these articles, I often extol the virtues of building insurance renewal income. Such tactics give brokers many options such as early retirement and future business sale.

Forward planning is useless if large company bullies stuff your plans when it’s too late to do anything about it. The time to act is now.

Brokers are the customers of product providers. As customers they have the right to be treated fairly.

That is why we should choose our product provider partners carefully. And let’s stop using those that don’t treat our colleagues fairly.

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