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AMI in warning over fact-finds

FSA plans to force mortgage brokers to conduct a fact-find before offering rate quotes over the phone could severely damage high-street intermediaries, the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries has warned.

AMI director Chris Cummings is concerned that if potential clients are subject to lengthy interviews when all they want is a quick answer, they may be put off and the business could dry up.

He is urging the FSA to be pragmatic in designing the new regime, saying there is no risk to borrowers by simply receiving an interest rate quote over the phone and therefore it should not require a fact-find.

For many brokers, especially those operating out of high-street firms, Cummings says this type of business – known as quick-calling – makes up a big proportion of their book.

Brokers say that while undoubtedly for some, quick-calling is an important part of their business, many borrowers are now more sophisticated and want to do a transaction over the phone without going through a whole sales process.

Cummings says: “For many high-street brokers, which makes it the majority of the market, it is a huge part of their business. Asking for a rate is very different than asking to be sold something. There needs to be a degree of leeway in the regime.”

London & Country mortgage specialist David Hollingworth says: “Borrowers could be put off if they were deluged with questions when they just want a simple rate quote.”

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