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Thousands of IFAs set for rush to sit mortgage exams

IFAs could be forced to sit mortgage exams in their thousands in the next two years following the latest training and competence announcement from the Mortgage Code Compliance Board.

The new T&C requirements demand that all advisers hold the Certificate in Mortgage Advice and Prac-tice or the Mortgage Advice qualification.

The requirements could mean training bodies hav-ing to lay on extra sittings or hire bigger venues for advisers to sit exams in a move reminiscent of the last-minute dash by advisers to get their Financial Planning Certificate in 1997.

The MCCB estimates there are around 70,000 mortgage advisers in the UK, which is made up of 40,000 broker advisers and up to 30,000 lender advisers.

It says around 30,000 of these advisers have registered for the exams but only between 13,000 and 14,000 have actually completed the qualification.

This means about 57,000 advisers will need to take the exams within the next two years.

The MCCB says it would like all advisers to be qualified by 2001 but the date has been delayed due to “uncertainty” about how the FSA would be involved in regulation.

The qualifying date for advisers is still subject to consultation, says the MCCB. But it says a preferred time would be somewhere in the middle of 2001.

Head of communications Brad Baker says: “We have consulted with the bodies setting the exams and they are making extra arrangements to make sure that all advisers can sit the exams and meet the deadline. They can even arrange in-house sittings for advisers.”

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