Brokers are worth every penny they get these days

I am writing in response to Paul Lewis’ comment piece in the June 11 issue of Mortgage Strategy.

Lewis lacks understanding of what he is talking about when he tries to analyse the broker market.

I can cover many of his points by saying that the Financial Services Au-thority has set the rules and guidelines which regulate our market, and all brokers work within these. I take on board the fact that a miniscule percentage break the rules, but these firms get dealt with by the FSA.

With regard to the transparency of fees for customers, this point is well covered by the Initial Disclosure Document that has to be issued at all client meetings.

The IDD clearly sets out the broker’s remuneration package, be this in the form of a fee, commission from a lender, or both. This document represents a step brokers must take and in today’s intensively monitored world, I can’t believe that any brokers get away without issuing IDDs.

An IDD also covers whether or not a broker is whole of market, lim-ited panel or a single provider for in-surance. This being the case, I think any sensible consumer who sees that a broker only deals with one insurer would get their own quotations.

When Lewis talks about whole of market brokers not dealing with all lenders he is right, but the FSA allows brokers to be classified whole of market as long as they offer a fair representation of the whole market. If this rule is good enough for the regulator, it’s good enough for me.

When offering the most suitable products for my customers, commission is not a consideration. And I’d like to point out that the average compliance file verges on being two inches thick.

Given the time spent on research, visits, phone calls, paperwork and ultimately bearing full responsibility for product recommendations, brokers are worth every penny they earn.

Lewis should not patronise customers’ intelligence when it comes to whether or not they are getting a good deal, nor should he question the in-tegrity of our regulator.

Andrew Botte
Chase Evans Homeloans
South Wigston