Friends Mortgage World has suspended all adverts for its network until after Mortgage Day on the grounds that it would be irresponsible of it to encourage more firms to join.
Mindful of the Financial Services Authority's timescale for authorising new firms, Friends Mortgage World says the FSA does not guarantee that it will process application forms in under three months and thus it would be wrong to encourage anyone else to join up.
The network adds that it is already in talks with a considerable number of firms following a successful campaign conducted throughout the year so far.
Advertising activities aimed at mortgage brokers will resume in 2005 when it is believed that movement of intermediaries between networks will gather pace.
Trevor Galvin, mortgage development manager at Friends Mortgage World, says: “It would be irresponsible of us to take on a firm while knowing there was no realistic expectation of getting it up and running by November 1. I think any network that is telling appointed representatives there's still time is either doing something wrong or is telling porkies.”
And one network, which asked not to be named, tells Mortgage Strategy: “Friends Mortgage World has taken the lead here. All credit to it for being honest and open about the state of play. The truth is that it is too late.
“Each network is different in terms of how its infrastructure is geared to processing new members but if brokers are not in now then the chances are that they will not be able to trade after October 31. Networks have failed to get the message across. It's as simple as that.”
But Richard Griffiths, managing director at Network Data, says: “This is smoke and mirrors – what are new ARs going to do? We will be taking applications from prospective ARs right up to M-Day and trying to get them processed as fast as possible.”