I would like to comment on Gary Dixon's letter in the November 3 issue.
On the FSA website its says: “From 1 October 2002, we will charge for all publications ordered through our print-on-demand service”. You cannot get the printed version of the FSA handbook – 26 books which arrive in seven boxes – until you pay £1,625 as we have done at Network Data.
Gary is correct when he says you can download the handbook from the website at your leisure but you will need a lot of leisure time. The volumes, when stacked on top of each other, are 9 feet high. I defy anyone to download the whole thing. Has anyone done it? Why not write to Mortgage Strategy – and the Guinness Book of Records.
I stand by my comments on double fees whereby the FSA annual fees will apply to both mortgage and insurance activities, despite Gary's view that this is highly unlikely. I suggest he reads the policy statement on fees, in particular paragraph 5.12 which says the FSA “expects the minimum periodic fees for a full year in each of the A.18 (mortgage) and A.19 (insurance) blocks to be in the region of £750”. A broker engaged in both these regulated activities will face a minimum £1,500 in annual fees.
But I do support Gary's view that brokers should not be misled by biased parties and to this end will be changing the tone of my regulation columns in the New Year. The underlying theme will be – cut the crap; brokers need to know the truth.