View more on these topics

FSA ponders the status of &#39independent&#39 firms

The FSA is consulting on whether it should place requirements on firms in the mortgage market who choose to call themselves &#39independent&#39 and whether this should apply to both advised and non-advised sales.

It also considers whether firms should adopt a different status in relation to different regulated products, for example, being independent for mortgages but only selling investments from one product provider and whether firms should be able to change their status when dealing with different types of consumers.

The FSA says the issue is linked to its work on general insurance, polarisation and product disclosure in the investment market. Independence in the mortgage market simply means that the firm is not tied and acts on behalf of the consumer. A firm could in theory deal with a limited number of lenders and still call itself independent and may or may not offer advice.

A spokesman for the FSA says: “When choosing where to go for information or advice, consumers need to be aware of the number of lenders and products that will be assessed. In the investment market, &#39independence&#39 is used as shorthand for providing &#39whole-of-market&#39 advice. No such definition exists in the mortgage market.”


Future Mortgages urges Mortgage Industry to review use of MIG

Future Mortgages is calling for the mortgage industry to review the use and application of Mortgage Indemnity Guarantees. MIG, High Lending Fees or Mortgage Indemnity Payments (MIP), provide lenders with an insurance if the customer defaults on the loan, but unlike other insurance policies the customer paying does not receive any additional benefit. Brian Pitt, […]

FSA considers scheme

The FSA is considering several ways of implementing the appointed representative regime to mortgage advice, despite fears it could restrict consumer choice in the market place. Under the new regime, brokers will have to choose between direct FSA authorisation and appointed representative status, where an authorised firm will take responsibility for compliance. CP146 indicates there […]

Mortgages PLC revamps website

Mortgages PLC has rebranded its website and reported rapidly increasing numbers of intermediaries visiting the site. Since launch in April 2002, the site, at, has attracted over 3500 visitors and the number of visitors is typically rising by 15-20% each month. Over 1500 intermediaries have registered on the site and are able to access […]

Commercial First appoints two national training managers

Commercial First has appointed two national training managers in newly created roles. Jenny Kovacs has been appointed as training manager in the South, joining Commercial First from Preferred Mortgages where she was a roving underwriter. Jenny Harte has been appointed as training manager in the North, joining Commercial First from Moneysupermarket where she previously worked […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up