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Best Advice Mortgage Network gets FSA fine

The Financial Services Authority has fined Best Advice Mortgage Network £7,000 for poor record keeping.

The regulator says the firm did not “record and retain sufficient personal and financial information about customers before recommending a mortgage contract between June 2005 and June 2006”.

The FSA says it failed to inform customers that had made a complaint that they may refer the matter to the Financial Ombudsman Service, that it did not take the required remedial action required by the FSA after a visit to the firm, and an inability to demonstrate its reasons for recommending a particular mortgage contract.

FSA head of mortgages and credit unions among small firms Michael Lord says: “Firms must be able to demonstrate their reasons for recommending a particular mortgage contract and we take record keeping failures very seriously. We expect firms to take any remedial steps identified from supervision visits and will discipline firms that do not respond adequately to supervisors’ concerns.

“In this case, Best Advice Mortgage Network is required to appoint a skilled person to review a sample of past business to assess whether, behind the record keeping failures, customers may have been recommended unsuitable mortgage contracts.

“Separately, we are currently conducting a piece of thematic work on the quality of processes for giving advice in mortgage firms. Firms need to ensure they have robust processes in place to fulfill the principle of treating customers fairly and if they are not we can take appropriate action as we have done in this case.”

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