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More than half of mortgage advisers are still unqualified

The UK&#39s 80,000 mortgage advisers and lenders are displaying alarming apathy, with over half of advisers still unq-ualified with just over 20 weeks until the MCCB&#39s Dec-ember 31 deadline, warns the Intermediary Mortgage Len-ders&#39 Association.

Imla&#39s analysis, covering brokers and advisers employed by lenders, says there is little chance of the 47,000 unqualified individuals passing the minimum Cemap or Maq examinations required by the MCCB by the end of the year unless they are well into their studies.

The trade body says the MCCB and the Government should shoulder part of the blame for causing confusion over regulation which is making advisers reluctant to study.

Imla believes the Trea-sury&#39s U-turn last December to include mortgage advice under the FSA&#39s remit from 2004 means advisers are worried that the regulator will shake up the regime created by the MCCB and change its rules superseding their qualifications.

Although unqualified adv-isers will be barred from doing business legitimately, Imla warns there is always a danger of finding loopholes such as giving advice to clients and then submitting applications under another firm&#39s MCCB registration number.

Imla chairman Tony Ward says: “This is a real and mat-erial threat to the industry as well as to the livelihood of individual advisers. Sheltering under the qualification of a colleague may offer temporary respite but this is not a solution that is likely to generate respect among clients or lenders.”

MCCB spokesman Brad Baker says: “Obviously, there will be some who do not qualify by the deadline but they will still be able to give advice under supervision two years after their training begins.”

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