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AMI raises concerns about Which? mortgage service’s business model

ROBERT SINCLAIR: SERVICE MAY BE UNSUSTAINABLE
ROBERT SINCLAIR: SERVICE MAY BE UNSUSTAINABLE

Robert Sinclair, director of the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries, has questioned the sustainability of Which?’s new mortgage service.

Which? has been given regulatory approval to launch a mortgage advice service for its members and their family and friends.

Which? will launch the service later this month and says it follows feedback from its members who said they were unsure of where to find an impartial and trusted source of mortgage advice.

The consumer body says its brokers will not accept commission so there is no incentive to pick one deal above another.

Instead the telephone-based advisers will receive a salary, but Which? will still receive proc fees offered by lenders.

Sinclair told delegates at the Mortgage Business Expo last week that he was sceptical about Which? bro-kers receiving a salary and not commission as that remuneration model does not always work.

He adds: “It is being brave because it is trying to promote something good for consumers, but it also a commercial move.”

Sinclair says that if a complaint goes to the Financial Ombudsman Service it will put Which? in the shoes of the broker, and might think differently. But he adds that Which? is welcome to join AMI.

Which? has employed a small number of brokers and the service will be advertised in its monthly magazine.

Chris Gardner, commercial director at Which?, says: “Choosing the right mortgage is an important and complicated decision. Our members tell us they find it difficult to know where to get trustworthy advice. We believe this service will give them access to the advice they want.”

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