The mortgage code could wither and die if brokers fail to secure co-ownership thr-ough a credible trade association before N3, the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders' Association is warning.
Imla chairman John Heron says the mortgage code could be left hanging by a thread unless brokers club together and ensure its future before statutory regulation comes into force next August.
The warning comes amid predictions from industry experts that lenders – which sponsor the code – will abandon it in droves next year over fears of the compliance burden created by dual regulation.
Heron says it is crucial that brokers have a direct say in the running and scope of the code but believes this would prove impossible without a single coherent body voicing the interests of intermediaries as a whole.
There are currently two trade bodies attempting to get off the ground – the National Association of Mortgage Brokers & Advisers and an unnamed enterprise led by three Mortgage Code Compliance Board directors.
But Heron is concerned that the formation of both bodies will split the number of brokers throwing their weight behind one association, something he believes could be pivotal to the survival of the code.
He says: “It is crucial that intermediaries have ownership of the code but for this to happen there must be a credible trade body. If brokers are not directly engaged in supporting the code, the problems created by dual regulation will threaten its future.”
An MCCB spokesman says: “We cannot comment on speculation on the future of the code but we welcome the formation of one representative trade body for mortgage brokers.”
Mortgageforce managing director Rob Clifford says: “A trade association must emerge which seizes ownership of the code for intermediaries.”