Distributor The Mortgage Operation (TMO) is to offer intermediaries a route to being directly authorised, being an appointed representative or acting as an introducer under forthcoming Financial Services Authority (FSA) regulation.
Stuart Johnson, sales director at TMO, said it would support intermediaries through whichever channel they chose, and would offer help with FSA applications, training and compliance and professional indemnity cover. Johnson said TMO would be applying to the FSA as a principal firm in the near future and was waiting to finalise the cost structure it would operate, but hoped to announce something within the next six weeks.
Johnson said: “Our intention is to encourage as many as possible to become directly authorised. Having a tied network is not the easy option and there is no money to be made there.” However, he also expected the introducer channel to be popular as many advisers not focused on mortgage business opted not to be regulated in any way.
The news comes after Mortgage 2000 announced its planned network, called m2i. The network will target brokers looking to be directly authorised and give them access to compliance and training support as well as Mortgage 2000’s existing services.
Sean Hornsby, sales and marketing director at Mortgage 2000, said: “With over 60% of our current membership running independent businesses, we are seeing a huge demand from them, and the marketplace as a whole, for an independent mortgage network.”
m2i plans to sign up around 500 advisers to the network before Mortgage Day, although the fee structure will be announced in November during a series of national roadshows.
Hornsby said Mortgage 2000 would also be offering an option for those wishing to become appointed representatives, which was likely to be set up in conjunction with a partner. He said details would be finalised before the roadshows.
Commenting, Kevin Paterson, managing director of Park Row Independent Mortgages, said: “I think we will see another mass exodus towards networks at first, but then we will see a slow filtering back towards direct authorisation.”