AMI’s chief executive, Robert Sinclair, has warned that the directory of mortgage advisers – first announced in last year’s Mortgages Market Study Interim Report – will take at least a further year to deliver and is unlikely to include any complaints data.
Speaking at FSE Manchester, Sinclair (pictured) outlined how the initial thinking behind such a directory to “allow customers to see who the best brokers are versus the worst” was “not possible”.
In this year’s Mortgages Market Final Report, the FCA outlined how it had changed its thinking and instead the Money and Pensions Service (MPS) would add a mortgage adviser directory to its current retirement adviser directory.
Sinclair said: “That is going to take over a year [to deliver] because the data that falls into that has to come from the new FCA register and the new FCA directory will be a directory of all the people authorised to sell mortgages in the UK. Until that is built and delivered you can’t draw it out into the MPS system in order to get the [mortgage adviser directory] delivered. So, there’s a long lead time on this. But we will get there.”
Sinclair also outlined the ‘drop-down information’ that the directory would include such as the service advisers provide, the product/sectors they work within and how they provide that service – face-to-face/email/online, etc.
He did say there would not be any specific complaint data detailed on the directory for each adviser/firm but firms will be asked: “Do you have some form of tracking service that monitors your performance – Google perhaps or other analytics – that allows customers to feed back on your service?” This would be in the form of a link so that customers could review the analytics to see how good the service was.
Sinclair also pointed out a number of market issues that advisers needed to be aware of in order to protect their business levels and their proposition.
He cited the increased use of five-year fixes and how this potentially meant advisers wouldn’t see their customers for a long time and that this could impact considerably on income levels in 2020/21.
He also warned advisers not to contact lenders pretending to be their clients. “Lenders have a problem with advisers impersonating their clients,” he said. “It’s fine if the customer is with you and you have their authority, and it’s all done through a process where it’s validated, but please don’t ring a lender on your mobile, pretending to be your customer. People have been found out, and lost – not just their place on the panel – but their jobs from advisory firms. And rightly so. Do the job properly because that’s the way the customer gets best value, the lender gets best value, and you get the right terms at the back end of it.”