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EXPO 2010: AMI criticises Which? mortgage service

Robert Sinclair, director of the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries, has hit out at Which?’s new mortgage service.

Speaking at the Mortgage Business Expo this morning, Sinclair says he is cautious about the new service and it will be interesting to see what happens if a complaint about Which? is made to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

He told delegates this morning that he was nervous for Which? because it is trying to be both a consumer champion and a commercial business.

The advice Which? offers will be free for its members.

Advisers will be paid a salary but will not get any product commission, which will go straight to Which?.

But Sinclair says: “It is being very brave because it is trying to promote something good for consumers, but it also a commercial move.”

Sinclair says if a complaint goes to FOS it will put Which? in the shoes of the broker and it might make it think differently.

Sinclair also says Which? is more than welcome to join AMI if it so wishes.

Which? is launching the service later this month and says it follows feedback from its members who said they were unsure of where to find an impartial and trusted source of mortgage advice.

Sinclair also told delegates this morning that AMI fully supports the Council of Mortgage Lenders in its fight against the Mortgage Market Review.

AMI expects a European directive on the mortgage market to be released early next year, which he says will supersede any action from the FSA.



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  • William Kingsley 10th November 2010 at 2:11 pm

    Mr Brassneck, your point has some merits however you forget the issue that the clever dick in the pub isn’t running a business whereas Which? are. You can’t run a business for long on no income….so on the issue of tools….

  • Damien Brassneck 10th November 2010 at 1:53 pm

    So are you saying that every clever dick in the pub who tells you “Halifax have a great 2 year fixed deal get down there quick” needs to be regulated. Some of you brokers really aren’t the brightest tools in the box!

  • Leslie Squires 10th November 2010 at 1:30 pm

    I like to think that most independent mortgage advisers offer an impartial and trusted source of mortgage advice to their customers so one can only assume that Which? Readers visit other sources for mortgage advice.
    Personally, I have no problem with Which? giving mortgage advice providing that it follows the same regulatory requirements as everyone else in the mortgage market. Clearly, they have overheads to meet and mortgage adviser salaries to pay so there must be a cost for their services and they certainly cannot remain in business if they do not make a charge for this service? Sorry Which? there is no such thing as a free lunch or should I say free service.
    I strongly believe that part of mortgage advice is also covering the associated risk factors. Is Which? also going to provide the appropriate mortgage protection and general insurance advice and this also going to be a free service?

  • AP 10th November 2010 at 1:10 pm

    MCOB doesn’t allow you recommend direct deals to a client as it requires you to issue a KFI. If the direct lender doesn’t let you have one, how can you make a recommendation?

    Any chance of the FSA flexing up on that rule?

  • dave 10th November 2010 at 12:45 pm

    Robert Sinclair is right to be concerned. Why is Which? doing this for mortgages and not say, washing machines or TVs?

  • Richard Farr 10th November 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Sometimes ‘consumerists’ don’t do what’s best for consumers, no matter how good their initial intentions.

  • John Douglass 10th November 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Have you noticed that those who can’t or won’t are always the first to tell those who can and do how they should do things?

  • Luke Atkinson 10th November 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Somebody made a very good point on this story yesterday – if Which? do what they say they will do they won’t have a brokerage for long as they won’t earn any revenue from the majority of Direct Deals they will inevitably recommend.

    Money Workout tried doing this and it didn’t work for them either.

    Let them try and let them fail, there is a reason why HSBC only complete 15% of the applications they receive.

  • Michael Mouse 10th November 2010 at 11:33 am

    Running scared!!!

  • david Jonson 10th November 2010 at 11:26 am

    wheres the confilct of interest in being a commercial operation and also being something ‘good for consumers’? Isn’t that the mantra of TCF?