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FSA aims to help with fees for direct advice

The FSA is investigating how it can remove regulatory barriers to make it easier for mortgage brokers to charge a fee for advising a client to go for a direct deal.

A spokesman for the regulator told Money Marketing that although chief executive Hector Sants has made it clear that dual-pricing by lenders is not a treating customers fairly issue, the FSA is not brushing the issue aside.

He says: “We are very aware of the issue that has been raised about brokers being paid a fee for advising a client to go direct to a lender. We will be hoping to make our position on this clear this week.”

Advisers have complained that they are unable to get hold of key facts illustrations for many of the direct products which means that they cannot advise on these products and charge fees.

Association of Mortgage Intermediaries director Richard Farr says AMI has been in discussions with the regulator over this issue.

Hamptons managing director Jonathan Cornell says: “I think that some brokers will go for this option. It will be a lot easier for those that already charge fees.”

The Federation of Small Businesses has voiced its support for mortgage brokers over dual-pricing, saying: “It is unacceptable for high-street banks and building societies to be freezing out small mortgage brokers in this way. If there are grounds for complaint by independent brokers to the Office of Fair Trading, the FSB would be right behind them.”

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