Should the FSA go a step further and insist on mortgage advice?

The FSA recently announced its proposals that anyone involved with the sale of a mortgage should have to have their CeMAP, but is this enough?

In an earlier article, we discussed how the FSA’s latest report states that anyone dealing in the sale of mortgages should have a qualification at Level 3 or equivalent – in other words, many call centre staff and bank workers will need to pass the CeMAP exam. However, many in the mortgages market believe this does not go far enough.

According to the Mortgage Strategy website, any face-to-face mortgage sale should be an advised one, whether it is by a mortgage lender or a mortgage broker.

To give any mortgage advice, a person must have the CeMAP exam and so the FSA has certainly made a step in the right direction there but by taking this a step further and insisting on advice, this would stop large mortgage lenders, such as banks, from selling products that are inappropriate. The sale of inappropriate mortgage deals is currently defended by the ‘non-advised’ stance.

The Mortgage Strategy article goes further, saying that customers walking into banks to get a mortgage expect that they will receive appropriate advice. No matter what the Initial Disclosure Document (IDD) states, many still believe the bank has given them the best mortgage product that meets their requirements and yet they may well have walked out with a mortgage that is miles away from the most suitable one.

Ending with this quote, is this stance feasible, should the FSA go a step further and make advice compulsory for all mortgages?

If banks are unable or unwilling to take on the responsibility, the solution is easy – refer customers to an independent mortgage broker.



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