From Dave RogersI met some friends a few days ago for a bite to eat and some mortgage advice. I would describe them both as of average intelligence (or highly intelligent if they read this) and had an idea. Having produced the usual report to the best of my ability I set my friends the task of sourcing their own mortgage from the internet prior to handing the report over to them. The good news is that I managed to save them 10 per month and about 100 in fees. The bad news though is that to be a tenner a month better off than your average Joe surfing the net, the Financial Services Authority has an array of hoops for me to jump through and some bear traps if I miss them. I must follow a defined process, point out the benefits of payment protection insurance and despite knowing it is grossly over-priced, get them to sign a form to confirm they understand both the nature of PPI and the DSS benefit system. I must assess their financial position both before and after purchase, lest they should apply for a mortgage they cannot afford. Oh yeah, then there’s the FPC I, II and III and the Mortgage Advice Qualification and CeRGI. And professional indemnity insurance in the event that a tenner’s savings isn’t enough or they fall ill and I failed to get the PPI disclaimer signed. Before you know it the ambulance chasers will switch their attention away from members of the public slipping on wet floors to searching out technical errors and calling it scandalous mis-selling. I enjoy what I do and take pride in giving sound advice but the way we are heading I would just as soon make 300 per deal selling conservatories without the risk of losing my livelihood in the event I make a mistake in the eyes of a chancer in a sharp suit. customers, particularly those at higher risk, with a readily available solution to help them solve the problem of a shortfall. Trying to help our customers in this way can hardly be deemed unacceptable or non-compliant.