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Brokers call for action on DPA misuse

Ramesh Sharma

February 4, 2006

Mortgage Introducer revealed back in August 2004 that lenders were being accused of using the Data Protection Act as a means to cut brokers out of the equation following the completion of mortgage cases.

The Association of Mort-gage Intermediaries (AMI) said when some of its members had contacted lenders for a progress check after completion, the lender announced it could only speak to the customer due to the mandate of the Data Protection Act.

But AMI explained there were no rules in the Data Protection Act that stipulated lenders should be doing this.

Brokers say the matter has now come to a head and positive action needs to be taken.

Danny Lovey at The Mortgage Practitioner said: “My client asked me when they would make their first payment on their mortgage as it completed on the 25 of the month and they have selected the second of each month as their pay day. When I called the lender they said: ‘Sorry I cannot tell you that because of ‘data protection’.

“But I am the mortgage intermediary who arranged the mortgage and it has not even completed yet. Data protection was not intended to be obstructive. We need a campaign for common sense to stop lenders using the Data Protection Act in this way.”

Sole broker Roy New agreed. He said: “It’s stupid. The client doesn’t know the ins and outs of the mortgage. They rely on our knowledge, yet we can’t use our authority.”

Halifax and Portman Building Society have previously come under the spotlight for using the Data Protection Act in this way but have refuted the claims.

Paul Fincham, senior media relations manager at the Halifax, said: “It is not in our interests to cut intermediaries out of the loop.”


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