FSA censures mortgage broker

Mr Habib must also pay for an independent review of his past business, compensate customers if appropriate, and must stop providing regulated mortgage advice.

The FSA found various failings which exposed customers to the risk of being recommended mortgages which were unsuitable or they could not afford.

Between 31 October 2004 and 11 January 2008:

Mr Habib failed to assess, or record that he had assessed, his customers’ ability to pay the mortgage he recommended; he could not provide proof that self certification mortgages he recommended were appropriate for the customer; and he recommended lending into retirement without assessing the customer’s ability to pay after retirement and did not record why he had made that recommendation.

Jonathan Phelan, FSA Head of Retail Enforcement, said:

"Customers need to be confident that when they seek mortgage advice they can trust the recommendations made to them. We will continue to take disciplinary action against mortgage brokers who cannot demonstrate that the products they recommend are affordable. Where we have concerns about the quality of the mortgage advice given, we will continue to require mortgage brokers to undertake reviews of past business, often at considerable cost to them, to identify and remedy any unsuitable advice."

The FSA censured Mr Habib as he was unable to pay the proposed financial penalty of £22,500. As part of the disciplinary action Mr Habib must also: have an independent compliance consultant carry out a past review of his business to assess whether there has been any customer detriment and provide redress where appropriate; and withdraw all of his permissions, which will result in him no longer being able to conduct any regulated mortgage business.