Packagers want &#39advice&#39 clarification

Mortgage packagers are calling for greater clarity around their future role and a stronger voice in the consultation process.

Concerns were raised at two packager forums held by Southern Pacific Mortgage Limited last month.

Of most concern was the distinction between packagers&#39 roles in offering &#39information&#39 or &#39advice&#39 and whether the packaging process is an information-only affair.

Mortgage Strategy exclusively revealed in June that the FSA will include packagers in its plans for regulation and packagers were keen to clarify the umbrella term.

Packagers can vary from sole traders to major organisations and questions have been raised over what categories the regulators have in mind.

Mel Fordham, managing director of east London-based packager Olympian, says: “There&#39s a general consensus that the industry needs some clarification. Packagers are desperate for some interpretation from the regulators. There is not enough close liaison between brokers, packagers and the regulator and I&#39d rather have legislation explained to us in advance of its implementation than in a panic.”

Stuart Aitken, SPML&#39s director of credit, says: “The role of packagers under the proposed regulatory framework – as either agents, arrangers, advisers, or just providers of mortgage information – is far from clear. Whichever way the regulated/non-regulated divide finally falls, it is bound to result in major shifts in mortgage-market distribution, so packagers, lenders and advisers all want to be as prepared as they can.”