Charcol technical adviser Ray Boulger is warning networks that they should be selective about which brokers they choose and not take all-comers just to build up their numbers.
Boulger says networks are desperate to get appointed representatives but he says mortgage intermediaries are still undecided as to what they want to do less than two weeks before M-Day and it could prove difficult to do business with them.
The FSA's latest figures show that by September 30, 7,400 mortgage firms had registered but only 3,995 had applied for authorisation.
It says last-minute applications came as a result of precautionary registrations from firms which wanted to be ARs but were safeguarding against their network not getting auth-orisation or not becoming auth-orised themselves.
The FSA says a handful of firms believed they only had to register to become authorised.
Spokesman Robin Gordon Walker says firms should have made their applications six months ago.
The regulator says it will not relax its acceptance criteria just because firms face being unauthorised.
Professional Mortgage Partnerships managing director Martyn Bell says he could not see what more the FSA could have done in terms of publicising regulation.
Bell says: “We are experiencing a lot of last-minute applications ourselves. Mortgage brokers are not used to a regulated environment and there is a lot of misunderstanding. But what more could the FSA have done?” Boulger says: “What will these people do come M-Day? At short notice, the majority will become ARs but networks must look at the quality out there before signing them up.”