The business development manager at the centre of the Mortgage Express self-cert controversy has been sacked, Mortgage Strategy can reveal.
The BDM was given the boot for telling brokers how to falsify self-cert mortgage applications. One broker was so shocked he blew the whistle and informed senior management at the Bradford & Bingley subsidiary last month. That sparked an internal probe by the lender which resulted in the BDM being given the chop last week.
This decision by MEX comes just over a month after the Financial Services Authority revealed it is to undertake a fresh probe into the way self-cert mortgages are sold.
Tim Dawson, managing director of MEX, says the company is committed to ensuring its staff are responsible and effective across all areas of business.
Dawson says: “In light of a recent internal investigation regarding a disciplinary issue, we can confirm that a member of the sales team has now left the company. MEX is committed to ensuring its staff are responsible and effective across all areas.”
MEX says it is not releasing the name of the BDM involved.
John Stewart, director at PMI Independent Financial Adviser, says that in his experience, the mis-selling of self-cert mortgages is not common in the industry and that this is likely to be an isolated case.
Stewart says: “Lenders do encourage fast-track, which is different from self-cert. But if the BDM is advising the broker incorrectly it’s also the broker who is at fault – and that in some ways puts the customer at fault too.
“I don’t think this is a widespread problem. There will always be the occasional bad apple and this is likely to be an isolated case.”
Vanessa Wood, spokeswoman for the Financial Services Authority, says the regulator cannot comment on individual cases but that it has been investigating the self-cert sales process and will soon make the results known.
The FSA has written to at least 15 lenders to find out what changes they have made to their systems and controls in relation to self-cert and fast-track lending over the past 18 months.
It is asking lenders whether or not they have reviewed their self-cert or fast-track lending and if so, what their conclusions or actions were.