FSA assessments and what you need to do
Frank Eve is managing director of Frank Eve Consulting
The FSA and the soon to be launched FCA want to raise standards in the mortgage market.
This was a constant theme during the consultation period for the Mortgage Market Review and it is the reason that the FSA is currently undertaking individual assessments on mortgage brokers.
However, it’s not only the FSA that want to raise standards; this sentiment is echoed within the market as well.
Research carried out by TCFInfo with mortgage brokers over the last year, has shown a growing appetite for information and help with training and competence.
The latest survey undertaken in December 2012 to gauge market response to the final MMR rules, asked participants what areas of regulation they would like more information on. Top of the list was ‘broker responsibilities for appropriateness and affordability’ but in a close second was ‘qualifications and continual professional development (CPD’).
As a result the site has developed a new section to clearly set out what the FSA expects. The new content includes a checklist to audit training and competency procedures together with examples of what constitutes best practice guidance and details of the fines imposed by the FSA for lack of competence.
The site also provides a variety of useful training logs that can be downloaded and branded for use by mortgage brokers.
I’ve recently been involved in a judging process for an industry awards night to identify ‘best mortgage broker’.
It was clear from the companies interviewed, that the majority of large mortgage firms have put in place good, compliant procedures and are raising the standard of the industry.
But it is the smaller directly authorised firms that may now need some assistance as they are the ones in the spotlight and with the FSA undertaking their broker assessments it’s this segment of the market that may be exposed.
For those smaller directly authorised brokers who want to know about the FSA assessments and what they need to do in respect of training and competence or indeed the new regulation generally; www.tcfinfo.co.uk is the site to go to.