Chief executive of the AMI, Robert Sinclair, said that following the implementation of the Mortgage Credit Directive, lending had grown through the intermediary channel and voiced his disappointment that lenders are challenging the current system in one of the FCA’s latest reviews, published today.
“It is concerning to see lenders continuing to challenge the results of the MMR now through this route, as whilst it has made the process more onerous for some consumers, more now receive good advice with the full protections that this affords,” said Sinclair.
“AMI is concerned that the paper does not recognise the difference between a broker who works in the best interests of the customer rather than the lender who is out to shift product.”
He said the findings that the mortgage market is now lending responsibly was “great news” but said this was at odds with broker experience, adding that there are several groups of borrowers including those in the areas of interest only, lending into retirement, self-employed, contract workers and ex-pats, who still need to be addressed if the whole market is to be served.
“AMI will of course work with the FCA to ensure that consumers can have access to effective online tools to educate and enhance their access to the widest market”, said Sinclair.
“We will also contribute fully to ensuring that the debate on best lender and best product for each consumer is fully informed.”
He said that, while lenders are welcome to sell their own products, they won’t have access to the full range of products.
“The Directive set out clear rules around panels and sets out that there must be full disclosure”, said Sinclair. “The fact that a lender is, after all, a one firm panel appears lost in this paper.”
One of the FCA’s papers raised concern about the lack of competition created by commercial arrangements between lenders and brokers.
Sinclair said he was surprised that this had become an issue if it had taken this long to be raised.
“AMI does not see issues arising from the traditional procuration fee arrangement that was accepted as presenting no issues under MMR and is also enshrined within the European Mortgage Directive”, said Sinclair.