51,000 advisers qualify In advance of exam deadline
Designed to enhance consumer protection and raise industry standards, the exams were introduced as part of the Board’s Fitness and Competence Requirements in May 2001, with a qualification deadline of December 31 2002. Although many advisers left qualification until late in the last year, 31 left it to the last possible moment by qualifying on New Year’s Eve!
Luke March, chief executive of the Mortgage Board said: “These excellent final figures speak for themselves. After so many knocks to the financial services industry in 2002, it is great to start the New Year with such a positive message. We are hugely encouraged by the commitment of the industry to raise standards through the adoption of our Fitness and Competence Requirements and through gaining professional qualifications.”
The Mortgage Board’s compliance team will begin the monitoring of firms’ compliance with the new Requirements from January 2003. Although all other aspects of compliance with the Code and Registration Rules will receive their usual attention, training and competence, especially qualifications, will have a special focus in the coming few months with a full range of activities planned – including checks on evidence of qualification, supervision arrangements and reviews of firms’ sales processes.
Under the Requirements any adviser providing mortgage advice and recommendation must have completed either the Certificate in Mortgage Advice (CeMAP), or be FPC or CeFA qualified and have passed either the CeMAP ‘Bridge’ paper or the Mortgage Advice Qualification (MAQ) by 31 December 2002. From 1 January 2003, those not qualified will be unable to advise on mortgages except under supervision by a qualified and competent adviser.