The Association of Mortgage Intermediaries says advisers are struggling to keep up with regulatory changes and the cost of regulatory.
The trade association’s latest survey of members reveals 47% of mortgage brokers feel keeping up to date with regulatory changes to be the greatest challenge they currently face.
A further 13% say completing the Retail Mediation Activities Return (RMAR) creates problems while 12% say record-keeping is an issue.
Other aspects of regulatory difficulty include training and competence, obtaining key facts illustrations from lenders and sourcing systems and Treating Customers Fairly (TCF) requirements.
Regulations and the cost of compliance were cited by the majority (53%) of intermediaries as the greatest concern to their business while 23% feared a market slowdown. Other concerns included reduced procuration fees, client retention and maintaining staffing levels.
Ami members were also asked what they considered to be the greatest opportunity for their businesses with 29% saying they would be extending their use of fee-charging and17% saying they would be moving into the equity release market. A further 15% claimed they would be expanding their offerings providing commercial mortgages while 11% would offer second-charge loans.
But there was a significant downturn in the number of mortgage intermediaries who said they would be moving into the protection market down from 19% last year to 6%.
Rob Griffiths, associate director at Ami, says greater scrutiny of the payment protection insurance (PPI) market from the Financial Services Authority (FSA) could be the cause of this.
The Office of Fair Trading announced last week that it had referred the entire PPI market to the Competition Commission - a move that was met with surprise by the Council of Mortgage Lenders although not by consumer bodies which came out in support of a further investigation into the practices of PPI providers.
Griffiths suggests the results of the survey cleary show intermediaries are concerned about how they can keep up to speed with the large volume of work the Financial Services Authority is undertaking.
“The FSA’s and European regulatory agenda is full to say the least and firms, especially those smaller firms, will need to have a firm handle on any changes that are being made,“ says Griffiths.
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