Holistic mortgage planning is the way forward for brokers

An open letter to Robert Sinclair, director of the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries.

Thank you for your latest director’s comment. Like all AMI members, I value your support in these troubled times and thank you for your continuing efforts in this regard.

But I feel that AMI, along with many other commentators, is missing something in its attempts to help intermediaries in their activities.

We exist to serve clients who require astute guidance and our services are in greater demand than ever at the moment.

AMI and other organisations keep referring to diversification for intermediary firms. This may help brokers survive but it does not address the present needs of our clients.

It would be better for brokers to adopt a strategy of offering their clients a comprehensive mortgage planning service on a fee-charging basis.

The comprehensive bit comes from covering areas associated with mortgages such as the position on premature death, ill health and unemployment.

The sale of a mortgage product should not be essential to our survival and in separating the cost of advice, clients do not feel pressured into buying.

Operating this way helped us increase our sales in 2008, although a few cancelled cases meant we saw an overall 3.5% reduction in revenues compared with 2007. This is small beer compared with most firms that are panicking.

Brokers need to understand the value they can provide to their clients.

Every customer who uses our service pays a fee for financial wisdom and meticulous planning. This is the case even if our recommendation is to remain on a lender’s SVR.

Please tell your member firms to step up to the plate professionally speaking, attain higher qualifications and become mortgage planners as opposed to brokers, or they will bring about their own demise.

Simon Chalk

Mortgage & Equity Release

Planner

Mortgage Portfolio

Sheffield