Will the compliance requirements of a network be more onerous than direct regulation by the FSA?
Richard Griffiths is managing director of Network Data
Compliance is inextricably bound up with good business practice. Any attempt to cut corners on FSA compliance procedures will be detrimental to client relationships and the wellbeing of your firm. If you are directly regulated and your PI insurer finds out about shortcomings in your compliance procedures any claims may be declared invalid. And forget about the premium – you will be lucky to obtain cover at all. As an AR, your network should ensure you abide by the procedures for the same reasons. To answer the question then – in theory, no.
Chris May is director of Mortgage Times
No, they will be the same. The FSA will monitor firms and individuals alike to ensure they are acceptable in the regulatory environment. Networks will provide guidance to members.
Chris French is managing director of the Mortgage Marketing Centre
If they are more onerous, you are with the wrong network. Customer-facing obligations will be the same but a good network will provide help as well as management and systems solutions. A network should advise ARs on how to incorporate FSA requirements into their current practises with minimum disruption.
Stanley Lovell is group executive chairman of IN Partnership
There are some networks that add to the compliance requirements over and above what the FSA requires but at IN Partnership we will ensure members meet the requirements without further burden. One advantage of a network is that it interprets the regulatory rules and is able to facilitate their application, thus taking much of the responsibility away from the member. With direct regulation the burden of compliance can be much higher without the comfort of network support.
Sally Laker is managing director of Mortgage Intelligence
If you are doing your compliance correctly as a directly regulated intermediary you should not find a network's requirements more onerous. In fact the support we will give our members should lighten their burden while maintaining the standards that the FSA will expect.
Michael Ward is managing director of Enable
There are two issues here. The first is that many FSA rules require interpretation and this is where experience of compliance can make a difference. Enable's compliance team are experts and don't have to learn new skills as you might. They are applying existing knowledge to new product sets and as an AR you benefit from that experience. The second issue is automation. Some networks will automate the majority of processes resulting in efficiencies and a level of auto-compliance.
Elliott Stoneham is IT and compliance director at Pink Home Loans
The FSA's compliance requirements and responsibilities are the same for all brokers, DA or AR. However, by joining a network you make your principal jointly responsible for your compliance which may cause them to lose sleep if they do not closely supervise your activities. It is this that might make the compliance requirements of a network seem more onerous.