AMI calls for FCA budget to refocus on support for firms of all sizes

Jessica Bird

May 21, 2020

Robert Sinclair AMI

The Association of Mortgage Intermediaries (AMI) has submitted its response to the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) consultation on  proposed regulated fees and levies for 2020/21.

The AMI has voiced its disappointment that in freezing fees for smaller firms only, the FCA has not provided support for firms of all sizes.

It has called for the FCA to focus on maintaining the integrity of the market and providing support for the mortgage intermediary sector, helping it to survive in both the short term and on into 2021, when cash-flow levels may not fully have recovered.

Robert Sinclair (pictured), chief executive of the AMI said: “Whilst we support the freezing of fees for smaller firms, we cannot support this cost transfer to larger firms.

“The changes to the proposed fees in light of the COVID-19 pandemic should have been greater and further reaching.

“We are concerned that the FCA’s fee proposals neither reduce its current expenditure nor suggest an intention to reduce spending next year in view of the likely reduced turnover of and indeed likely reduced number of regulated advisory firms.

“The FCA should look to reduce operational costs where possible rather than continuing along the path that was deemed appropriate pre-crisis.

“Essential costs including authorisation, supervision and enforcement must be prioritised over strategy and competition agendas until there is a clearer view of the post-lockdown landscape.

“Mortgage intermediaries will be vital in the new world where consumers are more vulnerable and with higher amounts of both secured and unsecured debt.

“People will need good quality advice to help them to understand the best product available, under their potentially changed circumstances, to meet their needs.

“As with the trapped borrower cohort, advice will be key.

“This budget should be referred back to the board to reconsider its position.”

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