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‘Blanket call’ for 24-hour withdrawal notice periods could cause ‘huge issues’, AMI chairman says

  • 22/06/2023
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‘Blanket call’ for 24-hour withdrawal notice periods could cause ‘huge issues’, AMI chairman says
The implementation of minimum notice period of at least 24 hours for product withdrawals across the board could create more “issues” for lenders and brokers, the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries (AMI) chairman has said.

Speaking at the AMI dinner last night, Andrew Montlake (pictured) said that with his “broker hat on” it would be “remiss of me not to support the call for as much notice as possible”.

He continued: “I am a broker, I suffer like others suffer, like the other practitioners on the AMI board. I watch how it affects the lives and mental health of our brokers. Extensions to midnight are not the solution.”

Montlake said 24 hours’ notice would be “great” but AMI was “not naive enough not to also recognise the huge issues this can cause for our lender partners as well as the stresses and strains it puts on your staff as well”.

He explained: “A blanket call for more notice could cause other issues and sometimes we need to be careful what we wish for. We do not want the lenders to feel like they have to take rates higher earlier or see lending become cautious and difficult.

“There is a solution somewhere in the middle, and we remain open to work together for the best interest of us all.”

Montlake continued that AMI does “incredible work on behalf of brokers and the team works tirelessly and respectfully behind the scenes to represent brokers’ interests” and he was proud to be associated with it.

He said: “You are being represented and sometimes it may be frustrating, but it’s only by working together and understanding both sides you have chance to affect real change.

“We do have so much work to do and it is a journey but I fundamentally believe our industry can be a shining light and I will never ever lose that passion and drive, however long it takes and whatever criticism I get along the way.”


Brokers need to start putting Consumer Duty ‘plans into action’

Montlake praised the work that AMI was doing on Consumer Duty, pointing to its various factsheets and podcast which offers information and advice, as well as mythbusting common misconceptions about the upcoming regulation.

“While the overriding aims of this is of course laudable, I can’t help but think that the time and money would be better spent looking for the real cowboys who will now doubt continue to ignore whatever changes come their way rather than forcing more work onto firms who are trying to do the right thing every day,” he noted.

Montlake continued: “It’s time for all those who have not thought about this seriously to put their plans into action.”

He thanked the Financial Conduct Authority for their “continued openness and engagement” on Consumer Duty and other regulatory subjects.

“The sign of a good relationship is where we can both fight for our respective views to be heard, sometimes vehemently, but always with the respect and knowledge that our views will be taken seriously and we will not fall out,” Montlake added.

Montlake said that AMI had some “great success” with reducing fees for member firms, which he said would allow firms to invest more of their “hard-earned income” back into the company and their people. He noted that AMI would “keep a watching brief” on this issue.


Insurers can be more innovative on protection

Montlake said protection was “still an important foundation” of AMI’s purpose and its third Viewpoint report on this would be coming out soon.

“It shows that there is still more that there is still more work to be done to engage both brokers and clients of the importance of a fully-protected mortgage.”

“I still feel that some insurers can do more, such as more modern products that consumers understand, new ways of marketing, fairer costings and engender more consumer trust in claims stats. This is a work in progress that we will continue to pursue,” he added.

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