The Mortgage Code Compliance Board (MCCB) has indicated the minimum number of advisers it feels necessary to cover the market.
At the launch of the MCCB Annual Report 2002, Luke March, chief executive of the MCCB, said more than 37,000 advisers have now passed one of the accredited examinations.
‘If there are 50,000-55,000 fully-qualified advisers by the year-end, we estimate consumers will be covered, with most people having a broker reasonably near. As the MCCB regulates firms, not the individuals in them, we don’t know how big the industry is and we are surprised more than 80,000 have registered to take these exams,’ he said.
The Annual Report highlights concerns the MCCB has about the consultation paper CP146. On the paper’s move away from the requirement to disclose procuration fees, the report believes transparency is a key component of consumer protection.
The MCCB said its experience indicates increased potential for consumer detriment when fees are not declared. March said: ‘The fee does sometimes have a bearing on what mortgage the consumer will get and we think it should be revealed.’
The report also highlights concerns over the introduction of a new level of service between advice and information ‘ filter questions ‘ and the lack of a requirement for a ‘reasons why’ letter.
March added: ‘You either advise or you don’t, and filtering questions are a disaster waiting to erupt. In our experience people always ask a call centre, ‘what do you think is best for me?’ We believe any call that leads to a decision constitutes advice.’