The Mortgage Advisers Association (MAA) has denied it will be a commercial or profit-making organisation in the face of criticism from the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries (AMI).
Chris Cummings, director at AMI, said: “I am very worried about it. It has seen how well we have done and thinks that by calling itself a trade association it can get the business off to a flying start.” Cummings felt the organisation was a commercial body, as it was promoting the Paymentshield Network on its website, and seemed to be styling itself as a network proposition.
However, Phil Ambler, who heads up the MAA, said: “The MAA is not a profit-making or commercial entity and there has been a bit of a mix up.” He continued: “The idea behind it is to help people and it is more of an advisory association as opposed to a proactive one, as the AMI is.”
Ambler said the MAA would not sell products to brokers or the consumer, but would aim to provide members with advice on the options open to them in terms of joining a network, being directly authorised or becoming an appointed representative, under Financial Services Authority regulation. He said Paymentshield’s details had appeared on the website as it was simply a start to providing further information about the networks available, although they were due to be taken off the site, to avoid further problems.
However, Graham Boulger, managing director of Paymentshield, told Mortgage Solutions : “We do not recognise it as a trade body at all – just something that is going to sell our products.”
It seems the confusion will not be resolved until the MAA actually announces its full offering.