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Blame culture won’t help us, says Ami

The Association of Mortgage Intermediaries has warned that a culture of blame will not help the mortgage industry.

In response to the speech at yesterday’s FSA Mortgage Sector Conference from the Council of Mortgage Lenders, Ami director general Rob Sinclair says the industry has to come together to solve the problems facing the mortgage sector.

At yesterday’s conference, CML head of policy Jackie Bennett read a speech by CML director general Michael Coogan that hit out at mortgage advisers. He said: “Some intermediaries have acted more like salesmen more interested in their cashflow than advisers protecting their customers interest.
“We are going to have to look at a combination of enhanced intermediary authorisation requirements, higher capital and PI requirements for firms, enhanced training and a review of remuneration in our sector. Only by this will we sustain quality of advice.”

Sinclair says: “Now is the time for all in the industry to come together and agree a way forward, not seek to lay blame at each other’s door. Instead we have a golden opportunity to address the root cause of the current difficulties

“We do not believe that the focus of regulation and oversight should be on products and loan to value levels. Instead, we need to look more closely at the operation of the wholesale market and the business models of lenders. As the CML said, some lenders mispriced some mortgage products and also relied too heavily on the securitization market for on-going funding.

“Advice is needed now more than ever. The regulator and the lending industry must encourage consumer access to advice and more importantly, independent advice, not restrict it. We need a duty of care to consumers from all within the industry and a commitment to evaluate mortgage suitability based on an overall affordability. This will lead to better outcomes for consumers in the future.”

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