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Sector is spared the RDR

The FSA has stopped short of imposing higher minimum qualifications or adviser-charging on the mortgage market.

‘It is beyond me why mortgage brokers should have less onerous regulation’

It says it has not identified a need for a retail distribution review read-across for brokers. QCF level four qualifications is a minimum requirement for investment advisers under the RDR but the FSA is not suggesting this should be extended to mortgage brokers.

The FSA says: “First, we have found no evidence to suggest lack of training and competence is a significant issue in the mortgage market. Second, in terms of the level of competence required by advisers, the mortgage market is much simpler than the market for retail investments.”

Adviser-charging would not be applied to mortgages under the proposals. The FSA says it is sufficient to address lending practices and to restrict risky mortgage products.

But the FSA is proposing to extend the approved persons’ regime to include brokers and raise professional standards in the sector, subject to the formation of the Professional Standards Board.

Technology and Technical founder and director Kim North says: “It is beyond me why mortgage brokers should have less onerous regulation.

Taking out a mortgage is one of the biggest financial decisions people make. I would like to see a level playing field for brokers and advisers.”

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