Research showing intermediaries do 58% of their business through just three lenders has sparked concern in the industry.The findings from Charterhouse Research also show brokers are placing business through an average of just 11 lenders, which has raised questions about whether brokers are offering the best possible advice. Competitive products are a prerequisite for achieving a top three lender ranking but underwriting is playing an increasingly important part. Ray Boulger, senior technical manager at John Charcol, says: “This suggests a lot of brokers are not giving as good advice as they should be. There are a lot of brokers who deal with all lenders, but equally there are an awful lot who have a small panel.” He adds that if a broker has a panel of, say, eight lenders, the results are not surprising. Boulger says this research is something that should worry the Financial Services Authority. Although the FSA will not comment specifically on the findings of this study it stresses that under its rules, a broker should always recommend the product that is most suitable for the client.