&#39Multi-status&#39 brokers call

Abbey National says brokers should be allowed to choose different status for different parts of their business.

Harry Taylor, Abbey National director of product development, told Mortgage Strategy: “We&#39re strongly of the view that the FSA should allow brokers to be IFAs and appointed representatives for different types of business.

“If you believe that consumers understand disclosure of status, there is no reason why a customer should have a problem with a broker saying they are an appointed representative for mortgages, but conduct a full search of the market for investment products.”

Abbey estimates that regulation will reduce the mortgage adviser base by over one third. Of a current 13,000 firms and 41,000 advisers, only 8,000 firms and 25,000 advisers will stay in the market.

Qualification requirements will accelerate this trend. Taylor says: “When you introduce regulation of this kind, and some form of training and competence exam, there will be a number that either decide not to carry on, or simply don&#39t pass the exam. The fail rates on CeMAP are concerning.”