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AMI challenges government’s promotion of Which? Mortgage Advisers in guides

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  • 13/05/2019
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AMI challenges government’s promotion of Which? Mortgage Advisers in guides
Trade body the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries (AMI) has slammed the government's endorsement of the Which? Mortgage Advisers service in two government guides to home buying and selling out last week, which points consumers toward the firm. 

 

AMI has been in discussion with the Ministry for Housing Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) throughout the creation of the guides and first raised this issue in March last year as a commercial conflict.

It said: “We have asked for alterations to the documents, some of which were accepted but others have been refused.”

In the How to Buy guide: A guide for people looking to buy in England and Wales, consumers are pointed towards the adviser firm on page 15 as offering ‘free and impartial mortgage advice.’

 

Brokers limiting commercial options

The trade body said it is raising this issue as some of its member firms may be unaware that by promoting these advice guides, firms may be limiting their own commercial options.

It said: “Within the text there a number of embedded links to a membership-based consumer charity. When taken to the linked pages users will then be offered the option to talk to one of the mortgage advisers in their connected commercial arm.

“We have asked for sight of any due diligence, tendering processes or internal approval processes, but have not had this shared.”

AMI said it will continue to lobby and raise its concerns over this implicit endorsement of one advisory firm over others.

Robert Sinclair, AMI chief executive said: “We are extremely disappointed at the approach taken here on what are an otherwise excellent series of documents. However, we cannot support or endorse the promotion of one advisory firm, even indirectly at the expense of others. AMI has always championed a level playing field on all matters and will continue to do so.

“We hope that MHCLG will reconsider its approach and move to a more balanced position.”

The MHCLG was unable to respond by the publication deadline.

See the links to the buying and selling guides here.

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