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AMI backs regulator in provider/distributor debate

The Association of Mortgage Intermediaries has announced its support for the Financial Service Authority’s stance on provider/distributor relationships, after the publication of its discussion paper last week.

AMI associate director Rob Griffiths says: “The message from the FSA is clear: lenders must look to work in co-operation with intermediaries, taking a more open and long term strategic view of the shared responsibilities that exist to serve the mortgage consumer better.

“We believe the FSA is right to assign product design responsibilities to lenders. We are pleased to see the FSA highlight the role of advice for complex products and consumer needs – especially in such areas as sub-prime. The need for advice is even greater in areas such as equity release.

“AMI believes the FSA has rightly identified that intermediaries carry responsibility for advice, but they can only be held to account if lenders provide them with accurate and timely information, both when the product is new and exciting but also on an ongoing basis. There is a clear message here that lenders need to improve their levels of post-sales service.”

He adds: “While the FSA clearly expects lenders and intermediaries to continue to communicate where it is in the best interest of the consumer, this may require a radical rethink by some lenders as to how they share information with intermediaries post-completion.

“Mortgage networks will need to gather detailed information from lenders about levels of churn and customer satisfaction. This requires an open and strategic relationship. We take comfort from the fact that the FSA has said this will not be a hindsight activity.”

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