Brokers are being urged not to focus solely on the sales side of regulation, and remember the compliance and reporting issues which will also affect their businesses.
Speaking at Mortgage Solutions’ latest Power Hour, Shaun Godfrey, sales director at Bankhall, said there had been too much focus on the sales process and not enough on the requirements of training, compliance and reporting which may catch brokers out. He said: “My issue is that there is an expectation that if you fix the sales process then you fix the compliance requirements which is completely untrue.” Mark Lofthouse, managing director of Mortgage Brain, said sourcing systems could help but there was a whole area of compliance which fell beyond customer-facing requirements. He said: “What we do is make sure that advisers have got the point of sale process.”
But a spokeswoman for the FSA said firms should not be caught out as, when applying for authorisation, their ability to meet all regulatory requirements would be assessed. She said: “We will be assessing them to see if firms can meet and continue to meet our threshold conditions. This will cover a broad set of requirements such as the quality and quantity of staff as well as their suitability.”
The FSA has also denied that firms will have to pay a high price for regulation. Sarah Wilson head of high street firms said: “It is not true that firms will have to employ a compliance consultant. Firms need to review our requirements, using all available information, establish what changes they need to make to business practice to comply, and then take action. Some firms may choose to take professional advice but this is their choice, not our requirement.”
• For a full transcript of this issue’s Power Hour on regulation, see p34.