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Standards improve as brokers embrace mortgage code

The number of broker firms breaching the mortgage code fell dramatically last year, according to the Mortgage Code Compliance Board.

Its annual review identifies significant falls in the percentage of firms breaking standards relating to levels of service. Thirty per cent of firms subject to a compliance check in the final six months of the year were found to be non-compliant in this area, down from 52 per cent during the previous six months.

Breaches relating to the provision of information also fell markedly, with 24 per cent of firms found to be guilty of non-compliance in the last six months, down from 44 per cent in the first six months.

The MCCB attributes the increase in code compliance to brokers formally incorporating its requirements into sales procedures, training and supervision. But it warns it will take further action as there are still unacceptably high numbers of brokers breaching code rules.

Chief executive Luke March says: “We have taken significant steps to improve the service and protection provided for homebuyers over the past year but more measures will be introduced to ensure the standard of mortgage advice in the UK continues to rise. We have a busy year of reform ahead.”

Mortgageforce managing director Rob Clifford says: “There are in the region of 8,000 to 10,000 brokers who have left the market since the inception of the mortgage code. That is a good reflection of its worth but there are still too many sharp operators out there.”

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