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&#39MCCB not checking broker exam passes&#39

The Mortgage Code Compliance Board is not taking any steps to check

if the majority of brokers met their December 31 exam deadline,

according to Future Mortgages.

Future&#39s survey of 500 intermediaries this month found that 70 per

cent had not been checked by the MCCB to confirm whether they had

their Maq or Cemap exam certificates.

Only 23 per cent had been checked and 7 per cent were unsure about

what steps the MCCB had taken.

Future also gauged broker opinions about building societies setting

up distinct intermediary brands, such as Yorkshire, which set up its

Accord brand this month. The survey found that views are divided,

with 42 per cent saying it is a good idea, 45 per cent disagreeing

and 13 per cent unsure.

Future says this split echoes the attitude of lenders about this

strategy, with many choosing to stick to their core brand as stigmas

about the sub-prime market fade.

Future asked whether the move by IFA Hargreaves Lansdown to pay back

part of its procuration fee to clients who go execution-only will

lead to a price war among brokers.

Seventy-nine per cent of brokers do not think that a price war will

break, 14 per cent say it will and 7 per cent are unsure.

Communications manager Richard Hurst says: “The result from the exam

question dem-onstrates the significant task that the MCCB has in

verifying individual intermed-iaries. With 51,000 qualifications

claiming to have passed, it is difficult to imagine that this process

will not take some months to complete. It is also confusing that 7

per cent are unsure whether they have been checked or not.”


HSA cashplan offers premium waiver on job switches

Healthcare cash plan provider HSA has introduced a cash plan for the employee benefit market, which waives premiums for one month for people who are changing jobs. The HSA corporate cash plan is available on a company paid or voluntary basis. It has four levels of cover with weekly premiums ranging from £1.70 to £6.80 […]

Standard opens up

The publication of Standard Life&#39s report and accounts and FSAreturns may help settle some of the recent arguments about theinsurer&#39s financial position and investment strategy over the lastyear.It puts advisers in a better position to advise clients. The sheerscale of the equity loss in the last few years, even if it is a paperone, is […]

Legg Mason replaces Johnston as lead manager on UK emerging fund

Legg Mason Investors has replaced John Johnston as lead manager ofits ailing UK emerging growth fund in a bid to boost its flaggingperformance.Johnston took over the fund in October 2000 after leaving MurrayJohnstone, where he ran a smaller companies Oeic and two investmenttrusts. He was expected to reverse the fund&#39s underperformance butinstead it has plummeted […]

War in Iraq blamed for falling house prices

House prices have fallen for the first time in over two years becauseof the war with Iraq and continued economic uncertainty, says theRoyal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.Its housing market survey for England and Wales for the three monthsup to February reveals that prices fell by around 5 per cent.Although the fall is modest, it is […]


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