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Letters of the law

I have just received a copy of the Regulation of Mortgages consultation paper sent to me by the MCCB, one of the numerous regulatory bodies to which I am required to subscribe.

Very soon I can see that the first page of my letters will be taken up by a list of regulatory bodies with the letters PTO for the rest of them, with the main body of my letter starting on page two.

Why was mortgage regulation of IFAs left out of the FSA&#39s remit when in fact the syllabus for the Financial Planning Certificate covered the subject in any case?

All that we now have is an additional regulatory body that is busily engaged in empire building and inflating the simple task of mortgage broking into a monolithic discipline swathed in bales of academia allegedly leading to an independent certified qualification.

We in this business are regularly pilloried for alleged sharp practices, exaggerated claims in respect of educational achievements and misuse of a multiplicity of letters after our names. Unfairly, I should add.

The unchecked proliferation of regulatory bodies being given

respon-sibility for sub-divisional elements that comprise financial services as a whole is the true reason why so many of my fellow practitioners are seduced into this practice.

Did you know, for instance, that the CII does not permit the use of the letters FPC while claiming to award its Financial Planning Certificate to successful candidates? Instead it urges people to join a sister organisation known as Sofa which awards letters to be used after one&#39s name.

There can be absolutely no justification for omitting mortgages from the regulatory spectrum of the (PIA) FSA as most of the misselling and misdemeanors associated with this field of business usually arise from the misuse of financial products (notably endowments).

Other than that, mortgage regulation, like so much else in the FSA sourcebook/ rulebook should be no more than a body of rules that enshrine the principles of honesty and integrity coupled with diligent analysis of an investor&#39s or mortgagor&#39s needs backed by effective sanctions against those who would abuse the system.

I know there are voices calling for the integration of mortgage arranging into the main body of financial services regulation and I would like to join that appeal as it is still not too late to let economic sense prevail.

Buck Lopez

Principal,

Capital Financial Services,

Bexhill on Sea,

East Sussex

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