Mortgage intermediaries finally have their own trade association and forum, following the launch of the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries (AMI) last week.
AMI has been much trumpeted in recent months as it encountered problems over its name change, having begun life as the National Association of Mortgage Brokers and Advisers (NAMBA). There were also questions over the provision of capital to get AMI up and running. These, in part, were solved by the agreement of the Council of Mortgage Lenders and the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association to provide an interest-free overdraft facility of £100,000 to AMI.
AMI will operate as a division of the Association of Independent Financial Advisers (AIFA) and be run by a divisional board reporting to the AIFA Council. The challenge for the organisation now is to become representative of its industry. Intermediaries Charcol, Savills Private Finance, mortgageforce, Chase de Vere and London & Country have already signed up to AMI. Charles Gooding, chairman of the AMI Divisional Board, said: ‘Never has the need for effective representation been greater than now with the imminent onset of FSA regulation and all the consultation and preparation which that entails. Now mortgage intermediaries must show their support for AMI by signing up for membership.’
Mortgage clubs have also been invited to become members and Norwich Union Mortgage Club, Legal & General Mortgage Club, Mortgage Next and Mortgage Intelligence have all pledged their support and will promote AMI to their members.
To join will cost firms of between one and five advisers, £160 plus £20 per adviser. Firms with between six and 99 advisers will be charged £400 and £10 per adviser. Firms with between 100 and 199 advisers will be charged a flat-rate of £1,500. This will rise to £3,000 for firms with over 200 advisers.
l The AMI has appointed Chris Cummings, former marketing manager of Sun Bank, as its director of mortgage project.
Commenting, Paul Smee, director general of AIFA, said: ‘Chris has extensive experience allied with public policy experience…he will bring mort- gage experience allied with public policy experience.’