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Bid to raise profile in consumer campaign

The Association of Mortgage Intermediaries is to start a consumer campaign to highlight the benefits of advice.

At the AMI’s annual dinner last week, chairman John Gummer, MP, called for the mortgage industry to work together to put the interests of consumers first. Gummer said the AMI will develop a higher profile with the consumer media over the coming year. He said: “As the market tightens, it will be essential for us to put the message for advice even more strongly and to seize every opportunity to promote the role of the adviser.”

He pointed out that consumers have responsibilities as well as rights, saying: “No one wants to see consumers take on more debt than they can afford and the work of AMI members can move people from expensive, high-price debt to more affordable loans.

“But consumers have a role in being realistic about what they can afford and being honest with their adviser, otherwise both will lose out.”

Gummer said it is better for the AMI to be effective rather than “loud”. He said: “We cannot always be the loudest voice. Much of our work has to be behind the scenes but we know members trust us to work for them and we are happy to be judged on the results we deliver.”

Gummer said the AMI was the first organisation to put forward a solution to the credit crunch. He said: “The Fixing the Crunch white paper was the first public document from any trade body or organisation which set out clear-sighted steps towards fixing the credit crunch. Others have followed in our wake.

“The AMI has been meeting with politicians across the political spectrum, Bank of England personnel, officials from the Treasury and has even briefed Sir James Crosby to put forward members’ views.” Crosby is heading the mortgage finance working group, an emergency review of the mortgage market for the Government.

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