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AMI expert panel will help watchdog on mortgage cases

The Association of Mortgage Intermediaries is setting up an expert panel at the Financial Ombudsman Service to help it with decisions that will have wider implications.

Speaking at Money Marketing Live at G-Mex in Manchester on Tuesday this week, AMI director Chris Cummings said the panel will enable the FOS to consult experts as part of its decision-making process and the industry will have input into decisions.

He revealed that the AMI is setting out what constitutes good customer practice across the mortgage market this year and will continue to do this each year to try to stop the ombudsman making retrospective decisions.

The collected industry experts on the panel, including MCCB compliance director Richard Fox, hit out at claims that the FOS is expecting 20,000 complaints on mortgages next year, saying there is little evidence of any scandal.

Cummings said: “My concern is that people are being taught how to complain and so the number of complaints coming in is bound to increase. We are working with the FOS to make sure they understand that mortgage intermediaries do not have the problems of other intermed- iaries and with PI insurers to convince them they do not need to increase their premiums as we are low risk.”

Fox said: “We had less than 100 complaints last year and less than half of those were upheld. I do not think there is evidence of a huge number of totally dissatisfied consumers.”

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