View more on these topics

Split level views on exams

Mortgage experts have clashed over whether brokers should be required to be qualified above QCF level three.

Chartered Insurance Institute’s Society of Mortgage Professionals chief executive Richard Fox has previously called for QCF level four exams to be developed for mortgage intermediaries and for an industry push to make this the benchmark qualification.

Speaking at the Money Marketing round table, Fox said: “I think there is a certain illogicality in the paper that says if you are advising on investment products you need to be QCF level four whereas if you are advising on a mortgage you don’t need to be. Brokers have told me they want to do everything they can to be perceived to be professional. If you are saying you want to be professional, then I think you need to aim slightly higher than level three.”

PMS chairman John Malone agreed that while exams are a hurdle, particularly for older advisers, the drive towards higher qualifications is worthwhile. He said: “Someone who has got experience and knowledge will not have a problem with being told they have to get a slightly better qualification, because they take pride in what they are doing.”

But Nationwide for Intermediaries head of corporate accounts Paul Howard and Mortgageforce managing director Kevin Duffy argued that the model is not broken and does not need to be fixed. Duffy pointed to low levels of complaints for mortgage advice from intermediaries that are referred to the ombudsman.

Association of Mortgage Intermediaries director Robert Sinclair said it would be better to widen the scope of the QCF level three qualification for mortgage advice than to force all mortgage advisers to attain level four. He said: “It is about depth and breadth. You could have a very broad level three qualification which is much harder than what we have got today or we could have a very narrow level four qualification which would make somebody very specialist but not a very good adviser. Level three qualification for me covers most of the bases for 95 per cent of the mortgage transactions that cross the desk.”

Fox said assessing mortgage affordability is not included in the current level three qualifications but Sinclair said: “It is in the core learning outcomes – the fact it is not built into your syllabus or exams does not mean it is not there. You have not built it into the syllabus because you only have to get 80 per cent of the content of the out comes into the syllabus to get it approved.”

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up

Comments

There are 3 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Chartered Insurance Institute’s Society of Mortgage Professionals chief executive Richard Fox has called for QCF level four exams to be developed for mortgage intermediaries and for an industry push to make this the benchmark qualification.

    AND AT THE SAME TIME INCREASE THE FEE INCOME OF THE CII!

  2. When I got my prior learning statement through from the CII, it turned out I’d actually got a level four qualification for mortgages! What a nice surprise…. Does it make me a better adviser than someone with level 3? Of course it doesn’t.

  3. Richard Brown, Managing Director, Moneynotion Limi 11th December 2009 at 6:33 pm

    I’ve been arranging mortgages since 1972.

    In that time I’ve seen all kinds of practices, from lenders have arbitrary rules to enable them to ration mortgages (money was so scarce), through to the FSA failing to regulate adequately and have homes in negative equity because the market overheated (in the late 1980s and again now).

    I’ve advised couples they can’t afford mortgages (our p.i. would have been at risk if I’d arranged for them), only to see them go direct to a lender and be overborrowed. Lenders apparently don’t have the same stringent perfomance requirement on having to prove affordability. Why not?

    How are paper qualifications going to make me better?

Leave a comment