Is your adviser qualified?

Is your adviser qualified?

In October 2004, mortgages fell under the spell of the regulator, The Financial Services Authority. This was not a bad thing as it was becoming very clear at that time that certain areas of the mortgage market were not being patrolled properly and that some of the borrowing public may not, in turn, have been looked after satisfactorily.

Even at that time, many mortgage intermediaries were already professionally qualified, although, not necessarily in the mortgage sector, most being authorised in wider ranging financial services arena. Since 2004, mortgage intermediaries seeking to provide advice and recommendation to their clients have had to be specifically professionally qualified, by examination, and the subsequent denotations that are shown vary in format but mainly incorporate CeMAP (Certificate in Mortgage Advice and Practice).

Therefore, for any mortgage which falls under the regulatory banner you should ensure that the advisor who deals with your mortgage is qualified under this title at the very least and that they are not simply information gatherers for others who will remotely research and advise at arms length. At the moment, Buy to Let mortgages are not regulated although the authorities are looking very closely at this and we fully expect them to fall under the regulatory banner before too long.

So why the need for professional qualification? Simply put, it is in your best interests to be advised by someone who adheres to and works with a high level of principles and who regularly undertakes continuous training to ensure he or she is always abreast of the best market products and practices designed to suit your personal circumstances.

Finally, on this subject, the regulator is now proposing that all advisers take further examinations to ensure that their skill and professionalism is continually upgraded in line with market needs. AToM supports this as we believe in full and dedicated commitment to the profession and we are keen to see the restoration of advice as a welcome requirement of our customers rather than the
less regarded necessity which appears to have become the case in recent years.