AMI is now launched

AMI will be a division of AIFA and will be headed by a Divisional Board reporting to the AIFA Council. The AMI Board will, to a large extent, determine policy on matters to do with mortgage intermediation. This will help mortgage intermediaries feel they are joining a body which is concerned with their interests and has a clear identity.

Commenting on the move, Charles Gooding, Chairman of the AMI Divisional Board, said: "Never has the need for effective representation been greater than now with the imminent on-set of FSA regulation and all the consultation and preparation which that entails. Now mortgage intermediaries must show their support for AMI by signing up for membership."

The new body will provide similar high quality representational and information services for mortgage intermediaries, as those which are already available to, and valued by, AIFA members. Paul Smee, AIFA's Director General, will join the divisional board. The speed at which AMI is able to provide even more effective representation of the industry, will depend upon it attracting a significant number of mortgage advisers to commit to membership as soon as possible. Intermediaries are being approached personally to encourage them to join up.

So far, several leading mortgage intermediaries have agreed to join up, including Charcol, Savills, Mortgage Force, Chase de Vere and London & Country. In addition, leading mortgage clubs such as Norwich Union, Legal & General, Mortgage Next, and Mortgage Intelligence are becoming AMI members and will be promoting the Association to their members.

AMI will be following AIFA's practice in inviting leading lenders to become associate members. Many investment providers have appreciated the access to AIFA information which associate membership has provided. Similarly, lenders will feel the need to receive relevant information from AMI. By becoming associate members, lenders will be demonstrating their wish to see the mortgage intermediary sector properly represented.

The two lender trade bodies - the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA) and the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) - have demonstrated their support for AMI by agreeing to provide an interest-free loan facility which amounts to a total of £100,000.

Referring to the new constitutional arrangement, Gooding said: "This arrangement enables us to use AIFA's proven expertise to the full in delivering effective representation for mortgage intermediaries. I look forward to working with AIFA's new Chairman, John Gummer. I am delighted that Paul Smee, AIFA's Director General, will be a member of the Divisional Board. I must also record our thanks to IMLA and CML for their support."

John Gummer, Chairman of AIFA, commented: "The AIFA Council is looking forward to working constructively with the new Divisional Board. AIFA has shown the value of good quality representation for intermediaries and can use its expertise to the benefit of the mortgage market. The Council will continue to be responsible for the conduct of AIFA, but we have invited two representatives of the Divisional Board to attend our meetings as observers. We believe that AMI will be self-standing financially and will not be a call on AIFA's finances.”

AIFA is also pleased to announce that Stephen Atkins, who is a member of AMI's Divisional Board, became a member of the FSA's Small Business Practitioners Panel in January 2003. This is a key industry panel which has direct input into the FSA's policy-making process.

For further information on AMI, please call: 020 7628 1288