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Gaskin hits out at FSA moves

FSA proposals for mortgage regulation will compromise the independence of

IFAs and intrude on the commercial decisions of lenders, claims The

Exch-ange chief executive Jim Gaskin.

Speaking at the Council of Mortgage Lenders conference in Birmingham,

Gaskin, a former regulator, said he could not see how IFAs can maintain

their independence if lenders assume ultimate responsibility for the

provision of product information to borrowers.

He said that although IFAs are legally bound by best advice, the

regulations could challenge that independence by making them directly

answerable to both clients and lenders.

Gaskin also claimed the FSA risks undermining the commercial decisions of

lenders following its pledge to investigate exorbitant interest rates in

the mortgage market.

He fears that lenders will have to justify their pricing policies to the

regulator regardless of the potential risk posed by borrowers with poor

credit histories. He says: “I do not see how IFAs can maintain their

independence under these circumstances.”

An FSA spokeswoman says: “Consumers have to benefit from an effective

disclosure regime which remains the same whether they are buying direct

from a lender or through an intermediary.”

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