View more on these topics

Networks told to monitor ARs better

The Financial Services Authority has told retail networks to improve the supervision of their appointed representatives.

This follows an FSA survey that found potential shortcomings in areas such as the level of compliance resources in principal firms, the quality of desk checks and field visits to check ARs’ compliance, the use of computer systems for monitoring ARs and how far networks operated a risk-based approach to monitoring.

The regulator is publishing a factsheet suggesting how networks can improve practice in three main areas: compliance and the approach taken to supervising ARs; admission to membership; documented procedures and management information.

Alison Hewitt, head of department at the FSA’s retail firms division, says: “We expect networks to apply appropriate controls on their ARs so they maintain the same standards as directly authorised firms in their dealings with customers. The factsheet is designed to help networks improve. We will be carrying out more work next year to monitor the position.”

Dale Knight, director of mortgages at Berkeley Independent Advisers, says: “The fact that the FSA is offering a system to networks shows it values the role they play. We’ve done more checks than a directly authorised firm would do. But the majority of networks will not have the same controls that established networks, such as BIA, have.”

The FSA survey involved visits to 15 networks carrying out a mix of investment business, mortgage and insurance mediation.


em-homeloan launches range

em-homeloans is offering a range of products in conjunction with lending partner First National. em-‘s branded lending division willoffer brokers a light-to-medium, two-year fixed rate at85% LTV with a rateof 6.59%; a two-year discount at 75% LTVwith a rate of 6.44%; and a first-time buyer 95% LTV two-year discount with a rate of 5.94%.

Market woes

Countrywide, which closed 54 of its estate agencies during 2005, says the housing market has crashed to its lowest sales level for 30 years. Managing director Harry Hill blames last year’s four interest-rate hikes, and predicts 2005 will go down as one of the worst on record for sales.

Duffy seeks volunteers for running battle

Kevin Duffy, managing director of Hamptons International Mortgages, has initiated the next instalment in his running battle with Walter Avrili, product director at John Charcol. Duffy is seeking to enlist 12 volunteers from the mortgage industry – The Dirty Dozen – to tackle the ING New York City Marathon on November 5 2006. He hopes […]

Self-help book for landlords

A new Lawpack book aims to help landlords by providing ready-drafted letters for dealing with common letting situations. Titled Landlords Letters – Plugging the Communication Gap between Landlords and Tenants, it provides guidance on when to use each letter. Low-cost insurance Britishinsurance. com has launched low-cost loan insurance. The firm says it costs under a […]

Health - thumbnail

Healthcare predictions for 2015 from Jelf Employee Benefits

The continuing fall-out from the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA’s) review, the rise of the private GP and digital engagement will be the primary focuses in the private healthcare industry during 2015, according to Iain Laws, managing director, healthcare and group risk, at Jelf Employee Benefits.


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up