Roberts, development manager for the ifs School of Finance, said while the number of advisers taking CeMAP (Certificate in Mortgage Advice & Practice) had decreased, the number of advisers registering for the CeFA (Certificate for Financial Advisers), which allows advisers to offer full financial advice, had increased by 10 per cent during the same period.

The development manager for the ifs School of Finance, Roberts, stated this week:

“The credit crunch continues to have a significant impact on the mortgage advice community and adverse market conditions are rapidly becoming the accepted status quo.  Mortgage lending slumped by 10 per cent in September to its lowest level for more than three-and-a-half years as the housing market slowdown dented demand for new home loans.

“In such a climate there can be little doubt that mortgage advisers need to consider ways of diversifying their business models.  With tougher times ahead, those brokers who distinguish themselves from their competition are likely to reap the rewards, not simply of maintaining business volumes but of actually increasing them.”

According to Mr Roberts, the number of mortgage advisers taking CeMAP as a standalone qualification has decreased, however, those taking the CeFA exam has increased by approximately 10 per cent over the same timeframe.

The ifs School of Finance has seen an increase in mortgage advisors looking to take additional qualifications, with the CeRER qualification (Certificate in Regulated Equity Release) proving the most popular.

Despite the current turmoil, the ifs School of Finance is moving to larger premises on the 15th December in Monument, London and has seen an increase in staff and students.  In January, the new offices will be opened by Stephen Timms, the financial secretary to the Treasury.

In a quote to the Financial Times, the principal of IFA Ruth Whitehead Associates, Ruth Whitehead, said she felt is was a poor business model for any mortgage advisor to concentrate purely on mortgages.

She added:

“I have felt from the outset from my own career as an IFA that it was narrowing ones horizons far too much to purely be a mortgage adviser because your client base is dependent on how the UK property market is doing.  I always felt it was a bad business decision to exclusively concentrate on mortgages because there was bound to be a downturn at some point and then what do you do.

“A mortgage is only part of what people’s financial requirements are and if you are narrowing yourself only to ever doing mortgages then you are not in a position to help the clients that you have got in all the other areas which they need assistance with.”

Certainly, the number of people seen to be taking the CeRER courses and the CeFA course have increased from our point of view, however, the numbers on CeMAP courses remain at a similar level.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.