Professional bodies often require their members to comply with stan- dards which are made available to members of the public who use their services. Typically, members will not only have to comply with the relevant laws and regulations covering their activities but must also deal with aspects relating to their wider responsibilities within society. These elements deal with matters such as responsible behaviour, integrity and confidentiality. They are designed to protect the reputation of the profession as a whole and create a climate of trust with the public.The Society of Mortgage Profess- ionals, as part of the CII, requires all its members to adhere to the CII code of ethics and conduct. Obviously, the requirements include the need to ensure that regulatory standards are met. Recent findings from the FSA in the mortgage market have identified that many firms still have some way to go to ensure that customers receive the information held to be a vital part of the sales process. Out of 82 assessments carried out across a sample of lenders and intermediaries, there were 45 instances where failures occurred involving the provision of the initial disclosure document or key facts illustration. Looking at the survey in detail, there is no particular type of firm that can hold itself out as being most likely to meet the requirements. Lenders are slightly better at providing a KFI but are no more likely to issue the appropriate documents at the right time. Among intermediaries, appointed representatives are less likely than directly authorised firms to meet the standards. Inevitably, there will be cases where the failure to issue documentation could be blamed on circumstances on the day. However evidence suggests there are too many cases where firms are not being sufficiently diligent in providing customers with the information to which they are entitled. FSA managing director of markets Clive Briault is quoted as being disappointed by the findings and has issued a warning that it will continue to monitor closely the distribution of IDDs & KFIs. He warns that continuing failure will be taken very seriously and acted upon. In choosing to look at disclosure, the FSA has signalled its interest in the sales process. We can expect that the suitability of advice will soon become the focus of interest. Meeting the expectations of customers is all about providing a professional service. Ensuring that high standards operate across the industry is an essential element of safeguarding the reputation of the industry. Only by maintaining high standards will we be able to command the respect that is essential for the continued health of the sector.
The DWP has launched a website allowing the public to discuss the national pensions debate. The site – www.dwp.gov.uk/debate – contains an interactive section allowing people to send the department their views on key issues.
Gartmore is recommending more merger and acquisitional activity as a result of the FTSE 100 All-Share rising strongly since April.It has been driven upwards by a number of positive influences such as corporate earnings that have been better than many investors expected. With London oil prices rising to nearly 40 a barrel, Gartmore says the […]
FC Biz – the five-a-side football team of IFA service company Simply Biz – is throwing down the gauntlet to any other financial services teams looking for a kickabout. During the first half of the season, FC Biz conceded no fewer than 58 goals in 10 matches, leaving them slumped at the bottom of the […]
SimplyBiz is moving into new premises in Huddersfield’s Galpharm Stadium. The support service provider will move into the new offices in October after outgrowing their existing office space. SimplyBiz, with over 2,400 registered individuals and over 1,000 firms since launch, says its rapid member growth has warranted expansion of its compliance and back-office admin staff. […]
There are several arguments that one could currently make for why credit markets look unattractive. These include signals that the US economy is in late cycle, the fact that corporate leverage has been increasing (with 2016 setting a record for the amount of global bond issuance), and that US high-yield default rates have risen considerably […]
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Aviva has triggered a five day platform blackout as it moves to new technology. The platform will be unavailable from 6pm on Wednesday 17 January through to Monday 22 January while the provider manages its transition onto an updated system run by technology provider FNZ. The downtime will affect Aviva’s investment platform only, but other adviser […]
JLM Mortgage Services has launched the first stage of its new ‘robo advice’ service. The mortgage and protection network claims it is the first network to launch such a tool to its members. The Virtual Adviser will allow member brokers to offer an online service to residential and buy-to-let customers. This service will offer an […]
Providers should listen closer to advisers and consumers when deciding what initiatives will work