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At last, the FSA is getting involved in the transfer of ARs

I have just read that the Financial Services Authority is preventing 23 appointed representatives from being re-authorised under the First Complete banner (Mortgage Strategy Online).

At last, the regulator has seen fit to get involved with a network’s transferred ARs. It’s about time.

I was previously responsible for the transfer of two networks’ ARs and during the due diligence process determined that some were definitely not going to be joining.

Due diligence should be carried out by the buying network to such a degree that it should evaluate the quality of the bulk of ARs being purchased. This would hopefully prevent some networks from going for quantity rather than quality when it comes to ARs.

As my previous managing director used to say, a network is only as strong as it’s weakest link.

Networks should take more time to bring on board the sort of fit and proper individuals they would be willing to let their mother do business with. If not, networks should not take them on.

If you have done your part of the due diligence process properly these individuals should sail through any FSA requirements.

Mind you, this begs the question – how many of those being stopped by the regulator now would it have allowed to become directly authorised? Judging by the way the FSA has dealt with things in the past, the answer is probably all of them.

DAVE DONCASTER

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