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AMI says broker numbers to halve by end of year

The Association of Mortgage Intermediaries is forecasting a 50 per cent drop in mortgage brokers from 30,000 in 2007 to just 15,000 by the end of 2009.

Speaking at this year’s Abbey key accounts conference in Ascot on Tuesday, Ami director general Chris Cummings said the drop in mortgage advisers is “a remarkably fast trend”. He said: “We are looking at numbers falling from about 30,000 to 15,000 active members who deal with mortgages as a day job.”

Cummings said that he expects that parts of the RDR will be extended to the mortgage market as the FSA reviews its mortgage conduct of business rules and the Financial Ombudsman Service publishes its complaint numbers in May, which the FOS predicts will show 9,000 mortgage complaints for 2008/09, up from 6,824 in 2007/08.

He said: “Because we have a common regulator, we have regulatory creep that seeps in and undoubtedly as part of the review, the FSA will be looking at some of the ideas in the RDR and how they will be applied to the mortgage market.

“We are certainly expecting that issues like remuneration models, qualifications and capital could drift into the mortgage market.

“This is going to be challenge to our industry. We must put up a united response to this or we will suffer regulatory death of 1,000 cuts.”

Brooks MacDonald Financial Consulting senior mortgage consultant Steve Smith says: “We do not know how many are leaving the industry and how many are refocusing on other advice areas. I suspect that many are leaving but we will have to wait to get a clearer picture.”


Annuity row grows

Just Retirement chief executive Mike Fuller has joined Annuity Direct director Stuart Bayliss in his criticisms of life offices’ single-tied annuity deals.


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