Packagers are leaving themselves open to criticism for failing to encourage and help introducers take mortgage exams in time.
According to Steve Holt, operations director of packager Best Advice Mortgage Centre, the majority of mortgage packaging organisations are failing to ensure intermediaries, who are central to their distribution channels, complete professional qualifications before the end of 2002.
‘If nearly half the introducers in the UK are not qualified on 1 January 2003, which looks inevitable, a large part of the blame will lie with packagers, who could ‘ and should ‘ do more. Brokers are, after all, the lifeblood of their business,’ said Holt.
Holt is concerned packagers may have already failed their brokers as those advisers who fail the exams now may not be able to re-sit before the end of the year.
He said: ‘There are less than two months to go to get these qualifications. Most advisers seem to have forgotten that weekends, public and Christmas holidays significantly reduce the number of working days left.’
The Mortgage Code Compliance Board (MCCB) has expressed similar concerns. The Board’s latest figures show 63,600 advisers have registered for CeMAP, with only 26,498 passing, while MAQ has 17,000 registrations and just 9,114 passes. In Scotland there have been 7,127 registrations and 2,817 passes for the Certificate in Mortgage Advice. The MCCB confirmed at The Mortgage Event in October that there will be no extension to the deadline.
The criticism comes at a time when packagers have come under fire from Birmingham Midshires Solutions (BMS), which has launched its packager ‘seal of approval.’
The scheme, which involves BMS certifying the fitness of its panel of packagers in terms of transparency, customer value and competition, has been cond- emned for suggesting those not on the scheme do not share its views on procuration and packaging fees.