MCCB urges firms to submit FSA applications by April 30

The Mortgage Code Compliance Board has warned firms that they must submit completed applications for FSA authorisation by April 30 2004 or risk being forced to cease trading.

The MCCB has expressed concern that a minority of mortgage intermediary firms still seem to be unaware of the significance of the regulatory changes occurring later this year and of the actions that are required if a firm wishes to remain in the mortgage industry.

It says that it is vital for firms to realise the importance of submitting complete applications for FSA authorisation by April 30 2004, as the FSA cannot guarantee processing applicationsreceived after this date before Mortgage Day on October 31 2004.

After Mortgage Day it will be a criminal offence to conduct a regulated activity relating to mortgage selling or administration unless a firm has FSA authorisation.

The FSA opened its doors to applications for authorisation from mortgage and generalinsurance firms on January 19 2004 and the deadline of March 31 for discounted earlyapplication fees has now passed.

If firms remain at all unsure of their chosen route the MCCB states they should apply for directauthorisation, and do so by April 30 2004 at the latest, to keep their options open.

Luke March, chief executive of the MCCB, says: &#34I make no apology for spelling out the importance of this message on every possible occasion, given its significance to our industry. I do hope firms will take the necessary steps to ensure they retain their future in the industry, through taking appropriate action as regards FSA authorisation.&#34