The changes are constant: Help to Buy, Help to Buy 2, the MMR, Help to Buy London, the Help to Buy Isa, the buy-to-let tax and stamp duty changes – and now the introduction of the European Mortgage Credit Directive.
Almost every measure is intended to benefit the housebuyer or homeowner but, with so much going on, it is an ever-bigger challenge for brokers to keep up to date and judge best advice. On top of that, there are new processes, software, lenders and providers to get to grips with.
I read recently that brokers receive, on average, 74 emails a day from lenders, sourcing systems and others. That is before you even consider those sent by their network or mortgage club. It has reached the point, surely, where brokers are suffering from information overload.
Deciding what to implement next, when all they want to do is advise the client, has become a constant issue. Because, of course, at the same time as all of this there is the little matter of advising clients and documenting that they have given best advice.
For brokers that are directly authorised, it is becoming a full-time job just to read the emails. Networks, on the other hand, can be trusted to work on behalf of their members to liaise with the FCA and mortgage and protection providers, and to gather and distil the key information.
In this way they can make sure their members are updated about the latest developments and keep them safe in terms of ensuring that what they are providing really is the best advice.
Toni Smith is sales and marketing director of First Complete