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At last, a reason for brokers to be happy


The proposal from the Financial Services Authority to make every mortgage seller hold the Level 3 mortgage qualification should have been music to the ears of brokers.

The aim is to improve the professional standards of all those involved in the mortgage sale, not just advisers. But the increased cost for lenders in getting their staff up to this level may be a bridge too far.

Many are already speculating that having to ensure staff in call centres and branches hold this qualification could mean the pendulum is moved in favour of what many argue is the more cost-effective intermediary distribution channel.

Add in the other costs for lenders that the Mortgage Market Review may bring and perhaps brokers have reason to feel more confident that their position in the mortgage chain is strengthened.

We will have to wait to see whether this scenario plays itself out but given that the regulatory reasons to be cheerful have been so few, we can perhaps allow ourselves a moment of confidence.

But the MMR is a far-reaching beast and for every victory there is a larger unintended consequence or downright threat to be warded off.
Some proposals will impact lenders’ ability and appetite to lend so we should not forget the damage that could be done.

While remaining a viable distribution channel is vital, it becomes less important if clients find it harder to get credit and we lose significant rafts of product to distribute. This is the big picture and no-one should lose sight of it.


FSA denies planning to get rid of interest-only

The Financial Services Authority says it has no plans to ban interest-only and any restrictions lenders have made to their criteria are their own doing, not the regulator’s. Speaking at the Council of Mortgage Lenders conference last week, Sheila Nicoll, director of conduct policy at the FSA, says it was surprised by the reaction the […]

Outgoing head of CML urges political debate

Matthew Wyles, outgoing chairman of the Council of Mortgage Len-ders, used his final speech at the trade body last week to call for a political debate on the Mortgage Market Review. Speaking at the CML’s annual conference, he told delegates it was impossible for the CML and the Financial Services Authority to do their jobs […]

piggy, cash, money

A tailored approach to protection

By Ian Smart, Product Architect, Royal London In an ideal world, clients would be able to afford as much protection cover as they wanted, but few would describe current times as anything approaching ideal. But this doesn’t mean that they have to indulge in an either/or decision that results in missing out on some essential […]


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