Firmer clarity on TCF would be a stronger deterrent than qualifications against cases of mis-selling and poor practice in the mortgage arena, say advisers.
A straw poll run by IFAonline asked advisers if mortgage brokers should be required to take TCF exams.
While almost 30% of respondents say exams would be good for brokers and customers, over 55% say the FSA needs to be clearer about what TCF means.
Earlier this month, the ifs School of Finance called for mortgage brokers to be put though a “rigorous and industry respected” qualification in treating customers fairly.
Chris Cummings, director general of the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries (AMI), agrees the FSA needs to be clearer on TCF but says the ideas behind it are still developing and brokers should heed FSA documents on good practice before rushing to take costly exams.
“I’m not sure if a rush to exams is what is required and I wonder if people sitting these exams actually have a better understanding of TCF,” he says.
Cummings adds: “We’ve seen some organisations cashing in through TCF exams but they may have little merit.”
The FSA is due to publish a report on TCF developments in March and advisers are hopeful this will provide them with much needed clarity on the issue.
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Have your say:
"My company has always treated customers fairly and I don't need the FSA or a qualification to help me do this. Treating customers fairly is to be honest with the customer and clear in all dealing whether its disclosure or charges I don’t need another qualification to help me do this. I am more interested in controlling these fly by nights who are giving mortgage advisers a bad name by charging ridiculous fees to clients.
I would like to see a directive from the FSA to give power to solicitors and lenders to ask for justification from advisers regarding charging fees when they are also receiving a procuration fee from the lender.
Having the ability to pass another exam does not mean the adviser would implement his new knowledge it would only mean the industry would have another way of extracting money from the adviser for examinations. We have the most over regulated industry and over qualified industry in the market place and we should be left to control our own business within a framework of principles not regulation after regulation. I once asked a student to study over the weekend for the FPC qualification to prove a point, she did and passed it with a 100% pass rate. She had no idea how to give advice but she was now qualified as a financial adviser.
Its about time the FSA started treating the adviser fairly and start repaying the adviser for all the fees they have had from us. Time and experience out weigh any qualification.
All our business comes from personal introductions from existing clients because we treat them fairly, this is the best qualification you can have." Stephen Pollard, IFA, Pollard & SmilesIFAonline
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