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Natural selection is good for brokers

Apparently 769 mortgage brokers have left the industry in the past year – yet another Financial Services Authority headline that has received a negative spin in the trade press.

On the face of it, it seems that consumers will lose out as sources of impartial advice become limited.

But in reality it is likely to be the firms that are mainly interested in one-off sales and initial commissions that will disappear.

The industry will be left with companies that are well managed, well capitalised and able to satisfy a variety of consumer needs.

Coinciding with the 200th anniversary of the birthday Charles Darwin and the celebration of 150 years since the publication of his On the Origin of Species, this form of natural selection is good for consumers and good for advisers who remain in the market.

Brokers will benefit because consumers need advice more than ever, and there will always be a need for the sort who treat their customers fairly and put their interests first.

With fewer advisers to choose from, the stronger ones will be able to become even stronger and help consumers more effectively.


Guardians of the flame

With the government happy to play the blame game rather than do something useful such as kick-start lending, it is gratifying to see brokers and lenders taking matters into their own hands.

Stonehaven launches Interest Select

Specialist equity release provider Stonehaven has launched Interest Select, a product which allows customers to choose the amount of interest they pay per month on their lifetime mortgage.

Lib Dems propose five-year no frills mortgage

The Liberal Democrats are calling for lenders to offer a “five-year fixed, no fees, no frills” standard mortgage option where lenders compete to offer the cheapest rate.


Almost nine in 10 employers admit failings with post-DRA compliance

The default retirement age (DRA) was abolished more than three years ago, yet new research from Jelf Employee Benefits suggests that the vast majority of employers still have some way to go to fully understand, comply and communicate the landmark legislation change that prevents older employees being forcibly retired on the grounds of age alone.


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