Broker slams coalition as undermining intermediaries

Nia Williams

October 5, 2010

He has written to David Cameron and MPs Chris Chope and Tobias Ellwood, hitting out against what he claims is the government’s apparent lack of support for independent financial advice.

His primary concern is that the independent financial advice helpline the government plans to roll out nationally will “effectively replace the need for many small firms like ours”.

The financial advice helpline, Moneymadeclear, is run by the Consumer Financial Education Body, and offers consumers “guidance” rather than advice. Those answering calls will not be authorised by the Financial Services Authority to give advice.

Fleming-Duffy adds in his letter that Abacus “provides a service to consumers in the provision of impartial financial advice and the subsequent arrangement of home finance. We are a small company that receives a very small number of complaints. We pride ourselves on our internal knowledge, experience and customer service”.

But he feels that the national advice helpline will undermine consumer need for firms such as his services.

He also expresses worry about the Mortgage Market Review proposals announced in July.

“The FSA with its Mortgage Market Review could potentially send the mortgage industry back to the dark ages,” he said. “Despite the reason for the ‘credit crunch’ being a systemic failure with (primarily) securitisation and mortgage bonds, not individual lending practices, the banks are not lending to consumers whilst also receiving huge levels of complaints. And, in addition, the banks are also striking brokers off their panels for minor administrative errors.”

Fleming-Duffy is calling on David Cameron to support “leaner, greener banks that work in close co-operation with intermediaries” and closes his correspondence by asking “why do we see the banks’ business models still failing and yet all the coalition government looks to do is support them to the detriment of smaller firms such as ours?”

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