Change is something advisers have had to get used to in recent years. From the introduction of regulation in 2001 to the devastation caused by the credit crunch, advisers have had to learn to adapt to survive.
As a result of the Mortgage Market Review the industry is faced with the prospect of tighter regulation – which is not necessarily a bad thing.
Many of the suggestions in the MMR look like they will strengthen the intermediary market. But it’s important that advisers do not get caught short with the new rules.
Trade press and trade bodies like the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries can play their part in the education process.
But I would also urge the regulator to conduct roadshows for advisers, along similar lines to those being undertaken for lenders and administrators.
Increased regulation will lead to best practice including an annual review of customer circumstances and their insurance needs.
It’s also logical that a business like mine, which offers only home insurance advice, delivers a comprehensive annual customer review that is insurance specific.
It is doubtful that insurance providers will be allowed or able to create the same levels of customer inertia evident in previous years simply by controlling renewal premium increases.
Annual reviews will therefore lead to an increasing number of customers changing insurance providers. Only those listening, and then responding, to their customers’ needs will prosper.