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MCCB sets out framework for qualifications

The Mortgage Code Compliance Board has unveiled plans for a new regulatory framework for mortgage advisers.

The proposals are part of a consultation process aimed at heightening consumer protection by plugging the gaps left by the FSA&#39s failure to regulate mortgage advice.

The MCCB is proposing all registered firms must ensure their advisers hold either the Certificate in Mortgage Advice and Practice or the Mortgage Advice Qualification by 2002.

It has also revealed new plans for entry and ongoing suitability requirements for registered firms and staff, including personal references for brokers covering three years.

The fitness and proprietary requirements require the disclosure of pending litigation relating to fraud, theft or financial irregularities. Firms may also need to detail existing authorisation refusals, bankruptcy or liquidation proceedings within the last three years.

The board says it must ensure the public are adequately protected and introducing compulsory qualifications is one way of ensuring this.

Chief executive Luke March says: “There is already strong support within the industry for compulsory qualifications. Our research clearly shows poor advice occurs less often where staff are fully trained and where firms are insisting their advisers take profess- ional qualifications.”

Spokesman Brad Baker says: “We are consulting on the workability on the proposals until the end of November. The plans very much mirror the FSA&#39s approach to mortgage regulation and we are now seeking responses from registered firms.”

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