Openwork calls for self-cert consistency

Amanda Jarvis

May 18, 2006

Speaking at Mortgage Business Expo in Manchester, Paul Shearman, mortgage proposition director for Openwork, said: “Lenders need to show greater consistency on how they go about policing self-cert. If lenders and compliance teams are in line with one another then problems with the fabrication of figures should be dramatically reduced.”

Self-cert mortgages now make up a significant part of the market, and a considerable section of the mortgage industry is predicting that this sector will outperform the mainstream mortgage market over the coming 12 months.

The FSA review of the self-cert market, carried out last year, revealed significant inaccuracies in record keeping, which has led to closer monitoring of this area of mortgage business.

Mr Shearman added: “Whilst there is considerable and growing demand for self-cert as the self-employed increase in numbers, for the industry to fully explore the opportunities lenders must adopt a responsible approach and drive consistency, while brokers need to select their clients carefully and advise them responsibly.”

Mr Shearman also warned mortgage advisers not to be enticed by the higher fees on offer from self-cert products.

He said: “Not only must advisers be sure they are not just chasing the higher fees, they must also ensure that they keep up to date with the marketplace which is changing rapidly with new players entering the market all the time.”

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