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‘Don’t join the industry’ is advice from most brokers

The large majority of mortgage brokers would not consider recommending someone outside of the industry to join, according to Mortgage Strategy’s straw poll last week.

Some 244 people responded to the poll and 192 respondents, a whopping 79 per cent, say they would not advise becoming a mortgage broker.

But London & Country head of communications David Hollingworth says the results are not necessarily the result of an inhospitable working environment and rather a more practical attitude to a complicated industry.

He says: “Now we have reached a point where everyone is fully aware that the mortgage market is not going to be somewhere if you are after easy money. Perhaps some people were wrongly attracted by this possibility in the boom period.

“I don’t think this necessarily means anyone is down on the industry. It is tough and you need to go in with your eyes wide open. It is not going to be a bed of roses with a regulatory backdrop we have got and the persistently tougher market conditions.

“They see lenders tightening up lending criteria and processes getting harder. The amount of admin involved has increased, the regulation is changing. All these things are difficult change to deal with.”

This view on the administrative side of things is shared by Trinity Mortgages product and communications manager Aaron Strutt.

He says: “Things seem to be getting slowly better with the Funding for Lending Scheme. Around 8 per cent of the population is unemployed according to official figures meaning people need the kind of jobs the mortgage industry is currently offering.

“The results could be because brokers who have experience in submitting cases to lenders have run into difficulties. They might be suggesting people just would not like it much.”


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  • Tom Cleary 14th December 2012 at 4:56 pm

    But your name does appear Chris??

  • Chris Gardner 14th December 2012 at 12:41 pm

    Shane | 14 Dec 2012 0:27 am

    Shane you miss my point. They were your words, however far from critising you i am merely pointing out that the regulator does not like FS sales to be seen as ‘business’. Its a subtle but very real nuance.

    I have no doubt of your integrity and i am not having a pop at you. Its the FSA that suck.

    btw, i really cany put my name on this thread. Forgive me for that at least!

  • Chris Gardner 14th December 2012 at 12:41 pm

    Shane | 14 Dec 2012 0:27 am

    Shane you miss my point. They were your words, however far from critising you i am merely pointing out that the regulator does not like FS sales to be seen as ‘business’. Its a subtle but very real nuance.

    I have no doubt of your integrity and i am not having a pop at you. Its the FSA that suck.

    btw, i really cany put my name on this thread. Forgive me for that at least!

  • Shane 14th December 2012 at 12:27 am

    To Anon 13 Dec 4.42pm. Why don’t you put your name to your comment if you are going to criticise and judge people. I am not sales driven, in fact I choose to see only two clients a week on average, I concerntrate on doing a good job rather than cramming them in and chasing money. It may suprise some people but I am not in this industry to make lots of money, as I previously said my satisfaction and “buzz” is being thanked for doing a good job and saving someone money and helping them.

  • Chris Gardner 13th December 2012 at 4:42 pm

    It is good to see so many people being positive in hard times.

    However, “LOT of business to be had” says Anon 13 Dec 11.18, and Shane 11 dec says “indeed I will pick up more business” is exactly what the regulator does not like about brokers. They hate the thought of you brokers being one iota sales driven, looking to hunt out the next deal etc etc. All of living in the real world know thats exactly how business of any type works, but our regulators do not. They expect you to sit their advising consumers NOT to take out mortgages, rather than helping people out who are looking for a deal in a crowded market.

  • A N Other 13th December 2012 at 11:18 am

    I’ve been in the industry for 6 years and advising for 4 now. Working for the largest estate agency group in the country. I have to say I love my job and I came into the industry knowing that if I could make ‘reasonable’ money during the harsh last few years I always believed it would stand me in good stead for when the tide turns.

    I am now spreading my wings and going out on my own in the very near future and whilst scary I firmly believe that for a dedicated, pro-active advisor there is still a LOT of business to be had.

    Things have been tough for the industry, it will change again in the future, and then at some point no doubt get tough again further down the line. That’s how things go, we have to roll with it.

  • John smith 12th December 2012 at 4:19 pm

    surely this boils down to how much you can earn with the skills and qualifications that you have. If you are not a graduate and can qualify as a mortgage broker and earn say 35K – 50K you would be happy. That may sound low however to someone qualified or has experience in an industry where salaried jobs are 75K plus.

    I am London based so whilst it is competitive the mortgages and fees are decent sizes. I really do wonder how a broker in say Middlesborough survives.

  • danger mouse 12th December 2012 at 3:35 pm

    First of all, good to actually read some positive comments! Hopefully we are getting some new blood into the industry

    I think a large part of the issue is that a lot of the people working as brokers are here as a career of last resort.

    Having being made redundant or having failed elsewhere, they are now having a go at mortgage broking. Unfair? If so why is the average age somewhere in the 50’s? Why do we have seem to have so many self-righteous comments from outraged indivduals who seem to get upset at the slighest comment or negative news story

    There are professional brokers out there, but there are still a fair number of brokers who, lets face it, are not exactely employable in the real world

    And before you ask, no i wouldn’t and couldn’t do it – but then again I’m not faced with that choice

  • Phil 12th December 2012 at 2:04 pm

    I think maybe its aregional thing where some brokers are thriving (i am up 30% on last year) and some are finding it tough. Also having had it so good for a while it is difficult to accept the new norm. I agree that with more brokers leaving the industry(some of whom are very good but just cant attract the clients the potential is great. Lets hope we all enjoy a good 2013 and lenders get their service right.

    Also it’s noce to hear bobby in such fine form.

  • Mikey 12th December 2012 at 1:30 pm

    I work for a fee free broker, and think it is a great industry to work in. The changes in RDR and MMR in my view will make it more difficult for lenders to keep there ‘non-advising’ advisers, so brokers are the obvious choice for lenders that dont want to retrain all their staff. I have spoken with about half a dozen lenders in the last few weeks that are keen to lend ongoing, and havent been this year. The future is looking good in my opinion.

  • Shane 11th December 2012 at 11:39 pm

    I joined this industry “brand new” 3 years ago froma retail background. I have to say, that although it has been tough I find I get the most job satisfaction from this. The feeling of saving someone a fortune on their mortgage or putting them in a better position than when you met them for the first time could not be better. The reward for that is a referal and getting paid a good wage for what people appreciate as a good job by a professional person. I love my job and will not be looking to leave the industry, indeed I will pick up more business as negative or incompetent people leave the industry for the better advisors topick up the business.

  • Tom Cleary 11th December 2012 at 5:13 pm

    I have been a mortgage broker for just over 20 years and I will admit that these past five years have been the toughest in the industry since I began. However, with all the brokers that have left the industry (probably never to return) and with the MMR definitely looking in our favour (most non-advised sales will be banned), I would say that the future will be milk and honey for those of us that are serious about being a mortgage broker as a career…

  • Bobby 11th December 2012 at 3:52 pm

    Hi all my friends. I LOVE being a mortgage broker. It is the greatest job in the World and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Merry Xmas to one and all x

  • Bob the Builder 11th December 2012 at 3:43 pm

    Gary, the intention was not to offend so please don’t read into it as that although admittedly having read it back it may have sounded more harsh than intended.

    The point I am making is that yes you are right brokers have been villified in the press as have politicians, lenders and pretty much anyone else associated with financial services however, and it’s a mighty big however, the only people that can build the foundations of a new opinion or of a better view is us as advisers. If we all succumbe to the view that we are all villans intent on making money at the clients expense then we fuel that belief.

    Also the idea of the FSA being out to cut out the broker market is surely not your real belief? Look at the recent announcements from Barclays, Nationwide and Santander regarding them either sacking or withdrawing the investment services of their advisers. Who then does the client turn to? Surely the assumption would be a broker? I don’t see how the FSA is at fault here and far be it from me to defend them intentionally.

    This is what I mean by archaic, these views must now be viewed as outdated and it is time for us to set the example and move the industry forward and I think that new blood in the veins of the industry would help, we shouldn’t drive them away.

  • GARY 11th December 2012 at 1:33 pm

    Bob The Builder ‘Archaic views’!! I’m not sure you read my comment correctly, or know what the word Archaic means.

  • Doctor SP 11th December 2012 at 12:54 pm

    This seems like an article just waiting for “Bobby” to comment on… where is he when you need him to make you feel better about your own day??

    Speaking of which, Bob the Builder @ 12:07… you speak a lot of sense, are you sure you’re on the right forum?? 😉

  • Lancs DA 11th December 2012 at 12:14 pm

    Agree completely Gary. See my letter in this week’s edition. And yet the job at its best is a real joy and it’s not that I want it to be easy as that would take away the skill. It is just a pity that so many of the obstacles are unnecessary.

    My anonymity is not to protect me; purely to protect BDMs in my letter

  • Bob the Builder 11th December 2012 at 12:07 pm

    The above comment is the reason I would encourage people to join the industry, it is time that these archaic views were put to rest and people realised that they are in the industry in one of the toughest economic times of the last 30 years of course there is going to be more work to be done!! It’s not that the FSA or FCA, or whatever variant they choose to be known as, want rid of brokers, they just want rid of brokers with this viewpoint!! New blood in the industry can only drive out this pathetic self pitying attitude that so many seem to have adopted!

  • GARY 11th December 2012 at 10:39 am

    I wouldn’t recommend anyone joining this industry because:
    * Brokers have been vilified by the media & industry in general.
    * Lenders have proved that the relationship they have with brokers is one of convenience, which they will not hesitate to break if it suits.
    * The regulator has never engaged with the ‘local’ broker and seems only interested in squeezing as much as they can in fees and charges. Possibly in the hope that the broker community is declared extinct.
    In other words the reason I wouldn’t recommend anyone join our industry is because it is difficult to see a ‘future’ in financial advice/sales

  • Andy Wilson, Andy Wilson Financial Services Ltd 11th December 2012 at 10:21 am

    Why would anyone choose to become a mortgage adviser at the moment? There have to be easier and less stressful occupations. For example: crocodile trainer, deep sea explosives expert or Gary Glitter’s PR adviser

  • AA 11th December 2012 at 10:10 am

    Its more the fact people cant be bothered taking CeMap qualifications. You can walk into a Recruitment job and not have to take exams; and most likely get paid more.