The increase is over 10% when you include the bizarre Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) charge to mortgage consultants, who appear to be bearing more and more costs for product sales which they haven’t got permissions for. An 8.4% increase in core fees is ‘very ordinary’.
I would like to see full transparency from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Here are some questions that I’d like to put to them and see published in their annual report:
- How many full-time employees are working in the mortgage industry within the regulator?
- What is their average salary?
- How much have these costs increased each year?
- Why aren’t the total FCA costs tied to RPI like other regulators?
- Why do mortgage consultants pick up pension transfer misselling within their part of the FSCS?
- Why are the 50% of mortgage consultants remaining post-credit crunch being penalised for surviving and the validation of their business model?
- Why have we accepted a 46% increase in costs since 2010 of the combined PRA and FCA?
- Why is there little innovation in the mortgage market from major product providers and what are the regulator proposals for this?
Dialogue is essential and I would really like to see a mutual two-way discussion between Association of Mortgage Intermediaries (AMI) and the FCA. While I am not really into collective bargaining it is essential that the trading body can negotiate on our behalf.
This isn’t about withholding fees – we will pay this year’s as we have to trade after all but let’s all have a grown up conversation about the future. I think we all agree that any proposed increase in RPI next year is not going to go down well. I think we all want a coherent plan for regulator fee increases to 2021. So come on the FCA and AMI, open the dialogue and let’s hear of some progress.
Nigel Stockton is financial services director at Countrywide