Industry concern over falsified broker qualifications
A broker contacted Mortgage Introducer saying the practice was something he has seen occur time and again in the industry, and called for networks to develop a cross-checking method for qualifications to prevent this happening.
He said: “When the FSA picked up regulation, all networks had to create adviser files and asked for copies of brokers’ certificates – copies being the operative word. I’ve seen instances of advisers providing copies of certificates that are not the genuine article – they have photocopied other broker’s certificates and, using computer technology, changed some numbers and passed them off as their own.
“The industry is aware it is happening but no one seems to know what to do about it. Brokers I know have been reported are still practicing. They may well have sat the exams in the meantime but there should be a way for networks to cross-check to ensure the adviser definitely holds the qualification.”
Bill Warren, director of The Complete Network, said he had certainly heard allegations of this practice. “The bottom line is we insist on the original certificate and take a copy from it, which we then certify. It goes back to network procedures and those that accept photocopies without question are taking a risk. If this broker has seen it, I am not surprised.”
Sally Laker, managing director of Mortgage Intelligence, said: “We insist on originals where any proof of identity or qualifications are concerned and have a number of processes that someone has to go through to be an appointed representative.”