The Mortgage Code Compliance Board says it welcomes the FSA's confirmation that registered firms in 'good standing' with the board will enjoy a smoother journey through FSA regulation.
The move follows a comprehensive review by the FSA of the MCCB's registration criteria, compliance monitoring arrangements; and actions to deal with breaches when they occur.
However the FSA warns that to benefit for due credit, firms must maintain their MCCB registration right up until Mortgage Day and that those whom resign their registration will be subject to additional scrutiny.
In a letter from Sarah Wilson, director of high street firms division at the FSA, to Luke March, chief executive of the MCCB, the MCCB was told that firms registered by it were considered to present a lower risk to the FSA's statutory objectives.
In anticipation of higher quality applications from such firms, she said the FSA would expect to devote fewer resources on average to such firms within the authorisation process.
March says: “The FSA's confirmation is a clear endorsement of the strengths of the Mortgage Code, the MCCB registration rules and the application of our processes and standards for registration, monitoring and enforcement.
“The great majority of firms in the industry have worked hard in partnership with us to raise standards over the last four years.
“The others have long since been forced out by the increasingly onerous standards the MCCB requires and by the vigour of its fitness and propriety processes and compliance monitoring.
“I am pleased that the hard work of so many firms is being recognised and rewarded in the FSA authorisation process.
“The MCCB will ensure there is a truly seamless transition to the FSA on Mortgage Day and will announce details of its 2004 registration renewal process in January.
“A full renewal will allow all firms in good standing to receive due credit towards FSA authorisation. This smooth transition has always been the goal of the Treasury, FSA and ourselves, with the full support of the industry.”