Requests to go off panel are incredibly rare, because networks monitor to make sure brokers have access to a breadth of the market, according to David Copland, director at The Mortgage Alliance (TMA).
He told Mortgage Solutions: “I don’t understand why ARs would want to go off panel.”
The network’s ARs are allowed to go off panel – but must go through a process to justify why they want to.
Copland said there are a number of master brokers on network panels, which have access to a host of lenders.
It comes amid concerns that networks are blocking their ARs from using non-approved, off panel lenders.
Treating Customers Fairly
The outcome could mean the regulator’s core principle to Treat Customers Fairly is being compromised, Daniel Yeo from regional broker firm Cardiff Money recently suggested.
Copland said he could not see that TCF had been compromised.
He said: “We constantly review the master brokers that we use and we go to tender – if Cardiff Money is looking to get on the panels they need to make sure they put a proposition to networks.”
Commenting on the issue on Twitter, broker Chris Barker said: “As a broker who values his clients and drives his business on service, I would like to think I’m better placed to know who I send my clients to.
“If I’m not happy with who the network says I have to refer to, then surely I should be able to direct elsewhere.”
Mark Hayward, chief executive of NAEA Propertymark said: “It’s important that consumers have the widest choice as possible. To restrict this choice could be detrimental and there should be transparency when advice is given.”