National intermediary group Inter Alliance is taking steps to stop misuse of its Mortgage Code Compliance Board (MCCB) number and the misdirection of procuration fees for deals made in the group’s name, by member intermediaries.
Inter Alliance is to contact mortgage industry lenders, packagers, clubs and networks over the coming weeks pointing out that if Inter Alliance’s MCCB number is used in a mortgage deal, procuration fees on that deal must go to Inter Alliance.
At present some IFA members of the group are using Inter Alliance offices, headed paper and MCCB number to process mortgage business on their own account. The group has both directly employed IFAs and group practices who remain independent yet work under the Inter Alliance banner.
Stuart Wilson, mortgage development director at Inter Alliance, said: ‘We do not want our MCCB number used in the wrong way, and we are aware that it is being misused, and other people’s numbers are being misused. The situation needs dealing with and lenders need to have a part in this.’ Wilson would not give details of the numbers of brokers involved or the amount of commission, but said intermediaries would be contacted individually.
The MCCB will not discuss specific cases but Brad Baker, communications manager at the MCCB, commented: ‘We do not come across this problem often, lenders receive an updated disc of brokers’ status monthly. Their requirement under MCCB guidelines is that they should check the authenticity of the person using a MCCB code.’
Inter Alliance IFAs are at liberty to act alone in mortgages. ‘If members want to set up a mortgage operation separate from Inter Alliance, using their own number, then they have our full support to do that. They just need to make sure that the customer is sure who they are dealing with. What we want to make clear to our members is that if they are going alone they should not operate from offices with Inter Alliance above the door,’ said Wilson.
Inter Alliance is currently talking to its mortgage club panel, one of the largest in the market with 40 lenders. Wilson said: ‘We need an audit trail so if people use these numbers illegitimately then the lenders can help us to identify them. All the lenders are going along with this.’