Don’t allow rogues to get you struck off

PAUL SHEARMAN, MORTGAGE, GI, PROPOSITION DIRECTOR, OPENWORK
PAUL SHEARMAN, MORTGAGE, GI, PROPOSITION DIRECTOR, OPENWORK

There has been increasing coverage in recent weeks of advisers being struck off lenders’ panels.

Some of the biggest causes of lender concerns emanate from rogue introducers. Ask yourself whether your introducer vetting process is sufficiently robust.

Look for patterns in client profiles, income evidence and a high level of involvement with clients that may be suspicious.
Fraudulent income evidence is a big issue. Some rogue payslips are sophisticated, but others aren’t.

Look out for low payroll numbers, incomes and bonuses in round numbers, such as £23,000, a lack of salary deductions or high salaries paid in cash. If you are concerned don’t deal with the client or request more information.

Changing solicitors in the middle of transactions, failing to disclose client liabilities and alterations to valuations in short periods are all issues to look out for.

Finally, it’s worth stressing that in many cases lenders strike off all advisers in a firm, so if advisers you work with are not displaying the same professionalism as you move on before it’s too late.

If you are struck off, look to your network for support in pulling together an appeal, or if you are directly authorised put forward a robust appeal yourself. Focus not only on what you can present to refute allegations, but also on what changes you’ve made to your model to allay concerns.
Don’t wait to be struck off, take responsibility and action now to ensure it doesn’t happen.