Barclays has confirmed that it is in the process of training its telephony staff to offer mortgage advice in order to phase out non-advised sales.
Around 140 Barclays staff have been affected by the decision, with a significant proportion of its phone sales team having already completed the training programme to become a full adviser.
The bank told Mortgage Solutions that it had been training its phone staff to be fully advised since the start of 2012 and that the FSA's decision not to force all mortgage sales to be advised in the Mortgage Market Review final rules did not affect its stance.
Barclays does not accept mortgage applications online, meaning all of its mortgages will now be sold on an advised basis. Non-advised sales currently make up 3% of the lender's total mortgage transactions.
A spokesperson for the lender said: "Sales through our telephony channel have previously been non-advised. We decided at the start of last year, before the final MMR rules, to roll out training and make sure our products were being sold on an advised basis.
"This move will affect around 140 staff and will mean all Barclays staff, whether in branch or over the phone, will be able to offer advice to customers."
Ray Boulger, senior technical manager at John Charcol, said that despite the FSA not requiring all sales to be advised some lenders would be unable to meet the restrictions on non-advised sales.
"While the FSA left a couple of opt-outs regarding advised sales I think lenders are going to find it quite difficult to meet all the requirements placed on them.
"I think the lenders realise that it is really difficult to give guidance on products over the phone without actually advising customers.
"They do not want the situation where a customer asks what product would suit them best and the staff member says ‘I can't tell you'.
"For some lenders I think it is unrealistic to expect them to train entire sales forces, some staff will not want to become full advisers and some will not have the ability to do so. Some staff will leave and then you have to answer the question where are all these suitably qualified people going to come from?"
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