Direct authorisation becomes the preferred route

With regulation the industry's hot topic of the moment, the research shows that only 12% favour the appointed representative (AR) route and 35% intend to use Mortgage Clubs or Networks, but are unsure whether they will opt for direct authorisation or become tied at this stage. The research was conducted during the seven Mortgage Event roadshows, which were supported by the four major life company mortgage clubs (Legal & General, Prudential, Norwich Union & ZIFA) and were held around the country during September & October. 476 individuals from either mortgage brokers or IFAs took part in this research.

Sourcing system-based tools and the Internet will prove to be the most popular sources for accessing Key Facts Illustrations (KFI) with 46% of intermediaries selecting sourcing systems as their preferred source followed by lenders' websites (23%).

A number of intermediaries expressed concern regarding external compliance support for their businesses, in the run-up to regulation and once it comes into effect. However, 60% have sought, or are thinking of seeking, support from external sources. Also, 72% of respondents currently use packagers and of these 79% believe that packagers will continue to provide an important service, post-mortgage regulation.

A number of intermediaries voiced concern about regulation with 40% believing cost -especially Professional Indemnity Insurance - to be the most worrying factor, and 22% feeling anxious about the possible increase in, and complexities of, paperwork. A confident 38% were unconcerned about the arrival of regulation - predominately IFAs.

On procuration fees, 33% of respondents believed that the level of fees paid by lenders would not be affected by regulation. 24% believed they would increase whilst 23% felt they would fall and 20% were undecided.

Guy Batchelor, Sales & Marketing Director of Platform comments:

"Regulation is the word on every mortgage professional's lips. It is one of the most important events ever to happen in the mortgage industry and the implications for intermediaries and lenders will be far-reaching.

"Using the data from our extensive research, we now have some insight into the potential impact of regulation on our intermediaries. Initially, we were surprised at the large number of respondents who stated a preference for direct authorisation. However, we feel that many intermediaries will still eventually opt for joining a network and we would encourage them to explore all alternatives to find the solution that suits their needs.

"We are still concerned that many intermediaries are unprepared for regulation and are uninformed about the choices available to them. We will be working closely with our intermediaries, Networks, Corporates & Packagers over the next few months to help them understand these options and provide them with information with which they can help make informed decisions about their futures."