Mystery surrounds the deregistration of White Rose Mortgages of Coeside, York, by the Mortgage Code Compliance Board (MCCB) for breaches of its registration rules.
The ruling effectively removes the firm from the industry, but the MCCB still does not know if the company had breached other registration rules. During an ongoing disciplinary process the firm has consistently denied the Board access to the company files.
Brad Baker, communications man- ager at the MCCB, said: ‘Basically this all stems from the MCCB not being permitted to visit the firm and conduct a compliance review. We have a very tight disciplinary process because of our lack of statutory immunity and, under the human rights act, we have to be very careful with the disciplinary process. It really is a last resort that we go down this route.’
The case had escalated in seriousness as the disciplinary process moved from stage to stage. White Rose was found guilty of two charges relating to lack of co-operation by an independent disciplinary committee in October 2002, which ordered suspension from the MCCB register and costs of £5,000.
The firm appealed, unsuccessfully, to the Disciplinary Appeal Committee and was again ordered to allow a compliance inspection ‘ and fined £11,200 costs. The Appeal Committee ordered that if the firm failed to comply with either of these directions, its MCCB registration would be cancelled. The firm has failed to comply with both directions and its registration has been cancelled accordingly.
Luke March, chief executive of the MCCB, commented: ‘We have the widespread support of the industry for our objective of continuing to provide robust consumer protection in the transition to statutory regulation in late 2004. The very small number of firms who refuse to work constructively with us should take note of the outcome of this disciplinary action.’
White Rose Mortgages was unavailable for comment.