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Brokers’ weapon to fight panel removals

Brokers could force lenders to reveal why they have been removed from a panel by taking advantage of a rule within the Data Protection Act.

Around a dozen brokers have contacted Money Marketing’s sister title Mortgage Strategy complaining they have been removed from a lender’s panel without an explanation or right to appeal.

But by submitting a data subject access request with the lender, brokers can then use the information to mount a legal challenge against their removal from a lender’s panel.

Individuals can ask for all of the information a firm holds about them, including any emails containing their name. This means if there are official documents or emails containing information about the lender’s decision, brokers may be able to obtain them.

There is normally a fee of £10 and firms must honour the request within 40 days.

Dispusolve director Peter Turner, whose company specialises in handling complaints for financial services firms, says: “At the moment lenders are saying ’we are going to take you off and not justify our decision’ but with this approach they will have to justify their decision.

“For brokers, that is probably going to be their most powerful weapon.”

But Association of Mortgage Intermediaries chief executive Robert Sinclair says: “You would only use this as a last resort if you have been frustrated through all other channels in trying to get back on the lender’s panel. You need to be convinced of your innocence.”

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