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SMP says level 4 must be the minimum for loan brokers

The Society of Mortgage Professionals has called for an industry drive to make QCF level 4 the minimum standard for mortgage brokers.

Chief executive Richard Fox says there is not currently a qualification relevant to mortgage advice at QCF level 4 but argues that one should be developed in order for mortgage brokers to “hold their heads up high” alongside IFAs in the post-retail distribution review market.

Fox’s comments come after Council of Mortgage Lenders director general Michael Coogan provoked outrage from the bro-king community in a speech last week criticising small brokers for behaving like “salesmen”. He called for the RDR to be applied to the mortgage market as soon as possible.

Fox says: “It is time for mortgage brokers to think about moving upwards again after M-Day and in light of the RDR. The drive for CeMap really came from the industry and I would like to see that happen again so that brokers reach the same qualification level as investment and other advisers are going to have to reach.”

Fox does not believe it will push mortgage brokers out of the industry, arguing that the good ones will rise to the challenge.

But Brentchase Financial managing director Mike Fitzgerald says: “It is important there is a minimum qualification level for brokers but now that we have CeMap, that is enough and experience is more important.

“City traders and many of the people who took too many risks in the run-up to the crisis were extremely highly qualified with MBAs and so on. We have to be careful not to drive more people out of the industry.”

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