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It only takes a phone call to vet solicitors


I was surprised by the response generated by John Malone’s recent comments that brokers should be diligent about who they deal with whether this be borrowers, introducers and particularly solicitors.

Recently I have written about mortgage fraud and why brokers should be careful about protecting themselves from being used by people hell-bent on defrauding lenders.

I have no doubt that some innocent brokers have been removed from lenders’ panels because they have been inadvertently used by fraudsters.

If an intermediary gets a reputation for accepting business without making any apparent checks, it will only be a matter of time before word spreads and other fraudsters make them a target.

I do not believe that Malone was suggesting brokers take over the responsibility of checking solicitors, he was giving tips that were about good house-keeping and being diligent.

Obviously, it is up to brokers whether they take heed of any of this advice. But in my book Malone has a good understanding of the market and has done a lot of good work over the years.

Getting back to the point about solicitors, a simple phone call to the lender of your choice about whether the chosen solicitor is on its panel or not doesn’t seem to be too onerous.

It will probably save advisers time and effort in the long run.


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 […]


Nominations are in for November

The shortlist for Novem-ber’s Top Of The League, in association with Woolwich Mortgages from Barclays, have been unveiled. The nominations for player of the month are David Norfolk of Alexander Hall, Matt Scott of McGirls Money Management, Malcolm Dunn of Mortgage Matters, Howard Levy of Savills Private Finance and Jaqui Gardner of Gardner Independent. Manager […]

Battle for business in downturn has led to brokers improving standards

One positive result of the financial crisis is that it has made brokers more professional, says Richard Tugwell, head of national sales at Northern Rock. Speaking at the Council of Mort-gage Lenders conference last week, he told delegates that intermediary standards have improved.He says: “Brokers have become more consumer-centric and are treating borrowers as clients […]


Neptune video: UK economy: a sustainable recovery?

After years of a slowly brewing economic recovery, the UK has seen a strong rise in growth in recent months. Mark Martin, manager of the Neptune UK Mid Cap Fund, discusses the strength of this recovery and whether it is sustainable.

In the video, Martin addresses the following:

• Structural features supporting the UK economy
• UK mid-caps and the potential for M&A activity
• Valuations and opportunities in house builders


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