Mortgage intermediaries will be given help to meet the Financial Services Authority’s (FSA) regulatory fees, according to Tracey Mullins, director of public affairs for the Association of Independent Financial Advisers (AIFA).
The news follows the IFA Life Offices Group’s (ILOG) decision to subsidise IFAs’ regulatory fees to the tune of 20%. This equates to a commitment of around £4m for the year 2002/03.
Mullins said: ‘The ILOG agreement in place now has already been negotiated and would not cover mortgage intermediaries. But as we are in the process of setting up a trade body for mortgage advisers with the National Association of Mortgage Brokers and Advisers, it is something we would consider returning to in the future. Arranging this sort of benefit for our members is what we do.’
The ILOG subsidy scheme is a three-year agreement aimed at helping IFAs meet the expected increases in regulatory fees, and ensuring the number of firms offering consumers advise does not drop dramatically.
Pension Advisers Support System Fees will administer the subsidy, which is in the process of issuing application forms for the benefit.
David Henderson, chairman of the Association of British Insurers’ ILOG steering group, said: ‘We are pleased to demonstrate our continued support of customers using the IFA channel through the provision of this financial support. The subsidy has been designed to support IFA firms fairly, regardless of their size, in dealing with this fundamental cost of running their business.’
Paul Smee, director general for AIFA, added: ‘It will make a big difference to IFA firms of all sizes, especially when the market is facing uncertainty over increased costs.’
With the plans for the mortgage intermediaries’ trade body at a fledgling stage, no timeframe has been given for negotiating similar benefits.