View more on these topics

FSA predicts network expansion

The FSA&#39s mortgage policy chief says there will be an expansion of financial services networks to take care of mortgage broker compliance post-N4.

Susan De Mont, manager of mortgage policy at the FSA, says: “I foresee networks expanding services to mortgage intermediaries.

“I&#39d be surprised if networks didn&#39t develop for mortgages and general insurance. There are some excellent independent mortgage advisers and I&#39m sure the market will support them.”

De Mont warned that the choice between independent and tied status will have “serious implications” for a broker&#39s business.

Brokers may be able to retain independent status as part of a network. “That depends on what we decide independent means. If we decide it is enough for the network panel to be sourced from the whole market, then yes.”

This would parallel the investment business approach, where brokers claim independent status so long as their network panel is chosen to represent the whole market.

This definition of independence would involve a change for mortgage brokers.

And she adds: “As far as mortgages are concerned, &#39independent&#39 doesn&#39t mean that you look across the whole market, so there is a risk of two separate definitions.”

De Mont plays down industry concern over filtering questions – a method of non-advised mortgage sale attacked for being overly prescriptive upon brokers – and says: “The name is a mouthful so we may change that. But this is what happens already – intermediaries ask questions to narrow the choice, then it&#39s up to the consumer.

“We decided it is appropriate for that to continue, but with some regulation around it.”

The FSA expects smaller firms to rely heavily on appointed representative status to take care of compliance. De Mont says: “Appointed representative status is definitely an option which will be useful for smaller firms.”


Consumer confidence remains high, says BBA

Latest figures from the major British banking groups for October show that net sterling lending (after allowing for securitisations) increased by £13.4bn (+1.5%) to £883bn. This compared with September&#39s underlying rise of £15.1bn and the recent monthly average of +£9.7bn. October saw lending to individuals rise by an underlying £6.8bn. Mortgage lending was very buoyant, […]

EU move could block UK regulation

UK mortgage regulation could be scrapped if draft proposals under the European Consumer Credit directive are adopted.The UK mortgage industry faces an anxious wait to see whether all mortgage loans will be brought under the EC directive, currently beginning its passage into European law.At the moment, secured lending falls outside the current proposals. But pundits […]

Webline passes 5 million quotes since launch

Webline, the UK&#39s first provider of online comparative quotes to ORIGO standard, today announced that it has just passed the 5 million mark for comparative quotations to IFAs, following a record year for growth. Webline ( was established in 1995 by Paul Holland, a fully qualified IFA and the managing director and founder of the […]

Government promises a better deal for council tenants

Local authorities are to get increased subsidies to improve the quality and management of their council homes. Councils in England will receive £3.86 billion in Government subsidy next year (2003-2004), including extra cash to spend on housing management and maintenance. This represents an average cash increase of 8.1% for management and 5.7% for maintenance, amounting […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up