View more on these topics

OFT&#39s missed opportunity

From Peter Gladdy

With reference to Rosemary Gallagher&#39s article &#39OFT: Agents pushing services&#39 (Mortgage Strategy March 29) it is my opinion as the compliance director of Mortgages Direct, the financial services subsidiary of the country&#39s largest independent estate agency group, that the Office of Fair Trading has failed to call for the measures needed to protect consumers and improve the way the profession operates.

The OFT, in its report into estate agency, talks about the need to raise standards in the industry but misses a golden opportunity to call for the necessary regulation to do the job properly.

Together with the board of our parent company Spicerhaart, I am extremely disappointed that the licensing of estate agents was rejected. Nor was there any call for entry level qualifications to ensure that people who set up estate agencies are qualified. A further letdown was that there was no request for every estate agent to have to be a member of the Ombudsman scheme.

However, we concur with the OFT&#39s findings that many agents suggest buyers would be more successful in getting the house they want if they used the financial services offered by the agent.

From what our customers tell us this is a widespread practice among many of our competitors and one that should be wiped out.

Whilst our own registered mortgage advisers and the staff in our estate agency branches will always advise prospective buyers of the benefits of utilising our fully independent – as defined by the FSA – inhouse services, no pressure is ever exerted and buyers are perfectly free, as they always should be, to obtain their mortgage advice from whichever qualified source they prefer.

We want our industry to clean up its act. The OFT had an opportunity to bring about the changes the estate agency profession needs but it&#39s been a damp squib. Not only will the public feel cheated, but so will the profession at large.

Peter Gladdy

Compliance director

Mortgages Direct

By email

Recommended

Bust network had turned corner

The report and financial statements for year ending April 30 2003 show Interlink Premier Network turned a pretax loss of £210,086 in 2002 into a pre-tax profit of £401,375, less than a year before going into liquidation on March 19 2004. The report filed at Companies House also discloses that despite heading into financial difficulty, […]

Abbey for Intermediaries extends completion deadlines

Abbey for Intermediaries has extended completion deadlines from three months to six months on all new variable rate tracker business as part of a drive to offer more flexibility to clients and to smooth the process for the intermediary. The new deadlines came into effect for applications made by intermediaries from March 15 2004. Intermediaries […]

BANK HOLDS RATES AT 4%

The Bank of England&#39s Monetary Policy Committee today voted to maintain the Bank&#39s repo rate at 4%. Jonathan Cornell, technichal director at Hamptons International Mortgages, says: “The Monetary Policy Committee has resisted the pressure to put up the base rate, so expect an increase in May. The MPC faced a tough decision, trying to keep […]

AToM launches three-year stepped discount

All Types of Mortgages has launched a three-year stepped discount on all non-conforming Platform products. Product details are a 2% discount in year one, a 1.5% discount in year two and a 0.25% in year three. This also includes a bonus discount of 0.25% for all cases received before March 30 2004. All products are […]

Why your clients need some tough love

In any relationship that matters, professional or personal, you should be upfront with someone if you think they’re making a decision or doing something they might later regret. Being honest with someone and having their best interests at heart, however hard the message, is key to building trust in any relationship. So how does this […]

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up