Research shows mortgage intermediaries prepared for regulation

Research agency BDRC questioned 200 intermediaries country-wide, with the following results:

96% of the IFAs/life reps surveyed who handle mortgages will continue to do so post-regulation.

Opinion among them is divided on whether to become an Appointed Representative (31%) for mortgages or to be Directly Authorised (36%). However, preferences mainly reflect the advisors' existing status for other regulated products, with 80% of Appointed Reps saying that their current principal has invited them to adopt AR status for mortgages.

70% are aware of the FSA rules and have given at least some consideration to their choice. 51% feel 'quite well informed' on their choices.

Although only a minority (31%) have looked at the FSA website, 82% of the brokers and estate agents questioned feel they know where to go to get the information they need. Literature and direct approaches are cited as the main sources.

51% of the brokers and estate agents taking part have enquired, or been approached, about Appointed Rep status.

Currently, there is no consensus on the relative costs and admin loads of Appointed Rep and Directly Authorised status.

26% of brokers and estate agents surveyed have already decided on their status post-regulation, though the majority (44%) say they will make their choice by February 2004.

Tim Sturley, Mortgage Express' Head of Business Development, says: 'Our research has given us a useful snapshot of what intermediaries plan to do when it comes to regulation. On the whole, they seem to be considering their options carefully. Most know what the FSA will require, and those that don't are aware of where to find the information. It can only bode well for business next year.'