There now appears to be an almost universal belief that mortgage brokers need a trade body.
In the face of impending statutory regulation, mortgage brokers need a voice through which to channel their views to both the Government and the regulator.
While a handful of large brokerages have the capacity to make their voices heard, the majority of UK brokers operate as a one-man band or work for very small firms. With neither the time nor the resources to relay their views to Government, such brokers need representation ‘ an organisation willing to fight in their corner.
But the question is, who is best placed to carry out this function?
This is a hot topic among lenders, packagers and the various mortgage clubs ‘ and when it comes to potential chairmen several names keep cropping up time and again.
The choice of chairman will be crucial to the organisation’s success.
It must not be based on ego. To be an effective lobbying organisation, the figurehead needs to be well respected within the mortgage industry and to be taken seriously by the Government and they should have no commercial interests in the mortgage market. If not, it will undoubtedly fail.
Two options that have been floated are an extension to the remit of the Association of IFAs. Clearly it would involve a change of constitution for the organisation, but with its head Paul Smee already sitting on the Mortgage Code Compliance Board (MCCB) advisory committee it does seem a logical solution.
Another proposal is the MCCB which, once regulation comes into force, would otherwise cease to function.
Who heads or sets up the organisation remains to be seen, but we can be sure that a trade body for advisers will be launched, most likely before the end of this year. The body will undoubtedly not be set up by brokers themselves, so the mortgage industry must not forget who the body is representing and find out what brokers want ‘ the new organisation will be for them after all.