The battle lines over statutory regulation are now being drawn up, with numerous firms stating how they intend to conduct business under the Financial Services Authority (FSA).
Mortgage network Mortgage Promotions has bucked the trend of many of its competitors, announcing it has no plans to become a principal firm, whereas Mortgage Next is developing its network solution and is projecting a doubling of members. Others such as Network Data and Mortgage Intelligence have already said they hope to become principal firms, but as most of these firms will have to wait until next year before they can apply, there is plenty of time to evaluate their propositions.
While these firms will look after advisers’ interests in terms of compliance, their offerings will vary in terms of commission, training and marketing. And if the choice is to become directly authorised by the FSA then they will have to sort all this out for themselves anyway. Whatever the decision, the one thing unifying the industry is ensuring that the regulator listens to the views and opinions of the advisers actually working with borrowers. Therefore it is of vital importance that the first trade body for mortgage brokers, the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries (AMI) can go to the FSA with the full support of the broker industry behind it.
A number of major industry players have already swung behind AMI and Mortgage Solutions feels that it is important to show its whole hearted support for AMI too. And for that reason we have now become the first trade magazine to become an affiliate member of the association.
Mortgage advisers will have an opportunity to question AMI at The Mortgage Event 2003 this autumn. AMI will attend all seven of the regional conferences further details of which can be found at: www.themortgageevent.com or by email: email@example.com
Ben Marquand, editor