Fees - you don't pay you don't get?

He goes on.. I am of the view that customers are only used to "not paying fees" due to our own fault or to the fault of the market which allowed every man on the street to call themselves mortgage brokers or even financial advisers. These "flying brokers" with no qualification and no professionalism are the ones who undercut all of us, by most of the time offering a "no fee service".

I am not saying that we could not do (free service, but that would be our option or strategy, not the customer assuming that it is free), but the reality is that many of these guys in a boom[ing] and unregulated market were allowed to arrange loans and mortgages for client and obviously it became a norm whereby a client walks in the door believing that he can and should get a free service.

Can anyone explain to me why when the client, with [a] squeezed market or not, [can] go to a solicitor and expect to pay? It is for the same transaction, isn''t it? Actually the solicitor does little compared to the time and effort we put in to arrange any mortgage in the current climate.

We can turn this round, if all of us (brokers and advisers), within the compliance framework, start charging a fee.

Some would say that clients would go direct to the lender. Yes, but without the advice so much wanted and appreciated and on top of that lenders do not give independent advice. Worse than that is the fact that lenders would be flooded with enquiries which would clog their system and prevent them from working efficiently. So they would either open more branches, open more days, employ more staff and as all know this is not what they wanted to do. They want all the donkey work done for them, for free to the customer and cheap for them at our expense.

For the client they get the free advice and go straight into the lender which would be the most cost effective to them. Alternatively, lenders would develop and mantain intermediary channel, which is the cheapest and most cost effective to them; for the client they would get a service, but paid for.

If the FSA does not care about us with regards to this issue, it is down to all of us to protect ourselves and our businesses. The customer does not care if you make a living or not as long as they get what they wanted.

I am [in] support of a paid service, be it through intermediary support or direct to lender and I see a point there, providing that all of us are professionals and add value to each and every client who come[s through] our door.

As an industry we can not afford to excuse ourselves with "freebies" all day and every day, because the client does not want to pay. No-one ever wanted to pay for anything. You don''t pay you don''t get. Simple.

If we want to be a charity, then there is not point to have the FSA on our back all the time, all the regulations, all the compliance and not being able to make a living as professionals.

We either or. There is not sitting on the fence. It is our fault the way things are.

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