BM Solutions has suspended three branch advisers, and stopped offering self-certification mortgages through its branches, pending the outcome of an investigation following allegations made by The Money Programme last week.
In a statement, BM Solutions said: “Alongside the suspensions, BM Solutions has, with immediate effect, temporarily ceased offering self-certification mortgages through its branch network. All of BM Solution’s 25 mortgage advisers were recalled to head office on receipt of the information from the BBC and have already started intensive training.”
Dan Watkins, managing director of BM Solutions, added: “We will not tolerate any behaviour that might compromise our brand. That is why we have taken the actions that we have announced.”
In The Money Programme – Mortgage Madness, advisers were shown telling undercover reporters that exaggerating incomes on for self-certification products was not unusual and indeed necessary. However, the programme suggested this was dangerous for the housing market, and quoted market consultant Dr Desmond Fitzgerald. He said: “If there is this extra flow from these fraudulent self-certified mortgages that will push hundreds of millions of extra cash into the housing market. So you get this sort of self-feeding frenzy, a real bubble effect.”
Shane O’Riordain, head of communications at HBOS said he did not believe exaggerated incomes were a problem of any magnitude and said it was “voodoo economics” to suggest it may unsettle the housing market. He said: “The vast majority of customers are honest people who do not want to inflate earnings.” At the moment HBOS has not suspended any of its intermediary self-certification products.