Ami concerned lenders are flouting guidance on panel removals

Robert Sinclair 2012 700x450

The Association of Mortgage Intermediaries is to hold talks with lender trade bodies over fears that some lenders are ignoring guidance on panel removals.

A year ago, Money Marketing sister-title Mortgage Strategy revealed Ami and the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association had reached a landmark agreement over panel removals, establishing guidance on how lenders should act when looking to remove a broker from their panel.

The guidance sought to ensure brokers got a chance to defend themselves, unless they were suspected of committing fraud.

As well as a requirement to offer brokers an appeals process, the guidance said lenders should not remove a broker purely based on information received from another lender unless it was backed by evidence.

However, Ami chief executive Robert Sinclair says brokers have reported that some lenders are still investigating brokers based on tip-offs from some of their rivals.

He says: “Ami has heard of instances where lenders appear to be suspending agency access based on information from other lenders rather than direct evidence from their own investigations.

“We are therefore raising this with our fellow lender trade bodies to establish what can be done to improve the position.”

Imla, the trade body set up to represent lenders who distribute through mortgage brokers, says it is open to discussing the issue with Ami.

Imla chairman Charles Haresnape says: “We are committed to our ongoing work with Ami to help guide our respective members on good practice and build strong working relationships between intermediaries and lenders.

“While different businesses and circumstances will call for differing approaches to governance, our belief is that the same broad principles should apply across the board in terms of fairness and transparency.

“The joint framework called on lenders and brokers to maintain an open dialogue with one another and we will continue to do the same with Ami to uphold the shared principles we originally set out.”