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FSA urged to set the agenda for exams

The FSA has been urged to take more responsibility for the development of exams for mortgage brokers by the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries.

The AMI is concerned over lack of progress on exams by the Financial Services Skills Council. Director Chris Cummings says the Skills Council will not be setting approved exams but just a list of appropriate exams, putting the onus on individual firms to draw up their own requirements.

Under the MCCB, advisers have had to take either Cemap or Maq to advise on mortgages. Cummings says the new system will be less clear as firms will set different requirements.

Some of the new exams will be based on advice skills while some will be product-based and Cummings says this could result in a firm concentrating on only one area.

He is also concerned that some of the exams are believed to be under development as multiple-choice. He says a large part of advice is made up of listening to clients and working with them and he believes that a multiple-choice approach, or “tick-box methodology” is wrong.

He says: “It is a little early in the procedure for the Skills Council to take on such a big responsibility. I would feel more comfortable if the FSA were taking more responsibility. We want to work with the Skills Council but we do feel there are some issues they need to address.”


Equitable faces claims from late contributors

The Equitable Life Late Contributors Action Group is claiming that thousands of late contributors could be in line for compensation. The group is calling for volunteers and new members to help organise a campaign to seek compensation through the courts or the Financial Ombudsman Service. Founder Paul Weir says hundreds of Equitable late joiners have […]

Commentary: Realistic world

One of the issues emerging from Standard Life&#39s recent announcement has been speculation about the impact that it will have on other companies and on the market generally. The reaction of IFAs will undoubtedly be a key factor in determining the first of these issues but how will consumer confidence in the long-term savings industry […]

SQ2 – Bristol & West Two-Year Stepped Discount

Type: Stepped discounted rate mortgage Discounted term: Two years Discount: 3.2% in year one, 0.54% in year two Payable rate: 2.59% Minimum loan: £1,501 Maximum loan: Up to 95% of valuation subject to a maximum of £150,000, up to 90% of valuation subject to a maximum of £450,000, up to 75% of valuation subject to […]

New online mortgage broker launches

Mortgage Beaters, an online mortgage specialist, launched this week. Mortgage Beaters says that it will search the market for all available mortgage products without charging a fee on any mortgage worth more than £50,000. Those worth less than £50,000 will incur a charge of 0.5 per cent. Managing Director Roy Bookman says: “Mortgage Beaters is […]

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Considerations for overseas workers in Germany

With Germany’s strong economic growth leading the eurozone’s recovery, many UK businesses are keen to be part of the success story: recent data shows that there are currently more than 280,000* employees working for a UK-controlled company in the country.


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