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Wrangle over training fees for mortgage candidates

Leading mortgage brokers are questioning whether candidates should be paying hefty fees to be trained by mortgage networks and brokerages.

Mortgage Force, The Mortgage Times Group and Home & Away are three firms which charge fees for training entrants to the loan industry.

The Mortgage Times Group charges £1,250 and Mort-gage Force charges between £1,987 and £3,287, depending on experience. But some groups are thought to charge as much as £6,815.

Home of Choice CEO Richard Coulson says it is wrong to charge graduates fees to train with a company.

He says: “If you take in a graduate, the least you can do is invest some money in them. It is not right. It sounds like a bit of opportunism.

“I would say to graduates to steer clear of this. They have probably just come out of college with a huge debt so it is wrong.”

Alexander Hall chief operating officer Andy Pratt says: “I would not knock anybody that decides to charge people. It is a commercial decision. But my personal view is that if you are open and transparent, you get far more back from the trainee.

“They should not really need to charge because there is something fundamentally wrong with the train-ing scheme if they cannot get value out of their train-ees while they are working for them.

“It makes it a bit divisive between the company and the trainee.”

London & Country head of communications David Hollingworth says: “I would suggest that becoming an employee is perhaps a more solid way of going about it rather than paying to go on a training course with no guarantee of a job at the end of it.”

One leading broker says: “I have heard of one case where they tied in somebody for two years and if they left before that period, they would have to pay £5,000. I think that is fair enough because they are providing full technical and mortgage training as well as access to their systems.

“It would cost a few thousand to train up someone and they would be worth an extra £5,000 in the market once they have been trained so I think that is justified. While that seems step, it is not dissimilar to paying for a similar course privately.”

The Mortgage Times Group head of marketing Payam Azadi says: “Our offering is priced down from most of the other broker training courses available on the market currently and we make no profit from the fee that covers the costs of training, all course materials and expert tuition.”

Mortgage Force mana-ging director Rob Clifford says: “We do not profiteer from the training programme. It is offered at cost price. We do not want people who are not prepared to make a financial commitment.”

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