Best Advice Mortgage Centre has warned that up to 10,000 mortgage brokers are operating without MCCB numbers.
Richard Hall, managing director of the Newcastle-upon-Tyne-based packager and network, says: “There is widespread misuse of MCCB numbers. We have had a number of brokers call up desperate to join a network because they don't have an MCCB number. Brokers leave networks and carry on using that network's number. But the MCCB says there's nothing it can do about it, unless someone tells them about each incident.”
And Hall believes that packagers are knowingly allowing brokers to use other people's MCCB numbers. He says: “The brokers and packagers involved obviously aren't going to tell the MCCB, and lenders don't necessarily realise that the number isn't correct. Sole traders are usually the problem, larger companies tend to have their houses in order. There must be about 60,000 mortgage brokers in total, ignoring official figures, and I think up to 10,000 are trading without MCCB numbers.”
Hall is urging the MCCB to take a more proactive approach and says: “Every person should have an individual number, this would solve the problem. Now that the MCCB has teeth, following the deadline for mortgage qualification, it will be interesting to see if it uses them.”