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AMI wary over Which? entering advice market

Association of Mortgage Intermediaries director Rob Sinclair has expressed concern over Which?’s entry into the mortgage advice market.

Speaking at the Mortgage Business Expo in London today, Sinclair highlighted the fact the consumer body is using its remuneration structure as a marketing tool. Advisers will be paid a salary although Which? will receive proc-fees if the lender offers them.

Sinclair said: “I’m always cautious about people when they try and persuade me they pay someone a salary and commission does not matter. It was something Equitable Life argued and look where they ended up.”

The firm was given FSA approval for the service earlier this week and it will launch later this month.

It will be offered free to Which? members and their friends and family. Which? advisers will include direct-only mortgage deals in their whole-of-market coverage.

He added: “I’m feeling very nervous about Which? but also they are being very brave.”

In the past Which? has criticised the quality of mortgage advice from advisers, but Sinclair says actually giving advice could change their perspective.

He said: “When they get their first complaint and when their first case goes through, they will perhaps feel how we feel and perhaps that might change their thinking.”

However Sinclair said AMI would welcome a membership application from Which?. He said: “If Which? applied to be members of AMI, they would be most welcome.”


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There are 4 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Does this mean that the reporters can be complained about for printing rubbish or will they hide behind the fact that they will two different companies in the eyes of the world ?

  2. By entering the market they of course lose the ability to independently asses and comment on it. In my opinion, it’s the end of Which? as an independent consumer service. Are they going to start selling washing machines and cameras next?

  3. Have you ever read Which? I have,i’m a member,most of mine get left in their cellephane wrapper and slung away when the next one drops thru the door,unless the front page review shows something I may be interested in that month.Its the middle classes who read (or maybe subscribe) to Which,the ones upto their armpits in debt!
    As said once they enter the market,they lose all credability as being independent………..and it may sound harsh,but,roll on their first complaint!!!

  4. “Which” is a registered charity so it has a tax advantage over other non charity registered businesses which gives it a competitive advantage.

    The question I would ask is “should it be allowed to use that advantage when all those regulated by the FSA (including Which) are obliged to pay for a free advice service soon to be launched? ”

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