The business split between general insurance, mortgage and life and pension intermediaries will come to an end as advice firms turn to offering one-stop shops, according to Bankhall group sales director Shaun Godfrey.
Godfrey told delegates at last week's Mortgage Business Expo in Manchester last week that: “The composite intermediary is here.”
He predicted that the intermediary of the future would be offering a full range of financial products, bringing mortgages and general insurance under one roof.
But Godfrey also warned mortgage intermediaries: “Life has been very simple until now.”
He told brokers that their priorities should be applying and preparing for regulation.
He pointed out that the Mortgage Code Compliance Board had not dramatically changed behaviour in the mortgage market, with the exception of the qualification regime.
On the general insurance side, he pointed out that while there are Association of British Insurers' codes for products, the ABI has never visited an intermediary over the sale of a general insurance product and warned that the FSA is a much more serious proposition.
Godfrey said brokers have the choice of becoming appointed representatives, directly authorised, acting as introducers or committing a criminal offence by not acting under FSA regulation.
But he warned: “You are living in cloud cuckoo land if you think being an appointed representative will mean that someone else will take care of all your problems.”
Godfrey highlighted one of the main issues as intermediaries wanting to offer more product choice and to be “on their own but not alone”.
Speaking later to Money Marketing, God-frey said that the FSA taking on regulation of all financial product sectors will make a difference to the way intermediaries deal with customers and make it easier for businesses to become composites. He said: “If you want to offer a one-stop shop for clients, that is the way to do it. The customer experience of walking into a composite broker in the last few years is better than walking into three different offices. With regulation being in one place under the FSA, it is very likely that people will take the opportunity to rebuild the composite.”