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All change for independence

For firms to describe themselves as independent after Mortgage Day, they must offer consumers a purely fees-based payment option.

David Whitely, press officer for the Financial Services Authority, says: “If this is how the consumer chooses to pay, any commission received on a sale will have to be paid to the consumer.”

London broker Alexander Hall focusses its advertising campaign on no-fee, independent advice.

Andy Pratt, Alexander Hall chief operating officer, says: “We are considering how to change our stance. Alexander Hall will definitely remain independent but obviously we are looking at offering consumers fee options. Future promotions will concentrate on choice, rates and independence.”

London & Country is another independent, no-fee mortgage broker. Its mortgage expert David Hollingworth says: “The FSA ruling on this will affect all brokers in terms of rebating commission. Talks are ongoing at L&C and there are important changes in prospect.”

Independent firms can also offer a fee and commission mix as an optional alternative to a pure fee-based payment.

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