Adapt or fail warns Mortgage Talk

And, said Birch, those companies that do survive will have to demonstrate flexibility in order to prosper.

According to Birch: '”The following 24 months or so will see wholesale changes being introduced in the mortgage advice arena, including new regulations, pressure on margins and, of course, the seller's pack proposed by the Government in the Queen's Speech. Coupled with the predicted slowdown in the housing market, advisers will find their margins being squeezed unless they take early action.

“Early adoption of new technology is probably the best way for mortgage brokers to ensure their continuing profitability,” he added. “Those companies that implement the latest online mortgage application packages will be better placed to maximise business, and to maintain their margins. Moreover, these packages are already well established, and are proving invaluable for the swift submission and processing of applications.”

Birch is at pains to point out that many brokers are failing to prepare in anticipation of the Government's late 2004 deadline for the imposition of new mortgage and general insurance regulations. He believes that those advisers who think they will be able to continue as before simply aren't being realistic.