The Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) decision to review examination standards across a broad range of regulated activities including mortgages has been welcomed by the Society of Mortgage Professionals (SMP).
Lee Travis,, the SMP’s head of professional development, backed the initiative, saying that it had been long-anticipated by the society. “Indeed, we were ahead of the curve in supporting our members when we introduced our Certificate in Advanced Mortgage Advice in August 2014,” he said, “in response to adviser demand for an option to improve their qualifications without regulatory intervention.
“The FCA are not looking to make changes to mortgage qualification requirements and have not confirmed any intention to move from level 3. However, an increasing number of self-motivated mortgage professionals are taking the initiative and upgrading to a level 4 qualification of their own volition.
“Our level 4 certificate gives mortgage brokers the opportunity to raise the bar voluntarily and study to a higher level – improving their professional standing and giving consumers greater confidence when making what, for the majority of them, will be the biggest financial decision of their lives,” he added.
In addition to mortgages, the FCA will examine benchmark standards in a variety of financial advice sectors, including securities and pensions transfer, with the Society of Mortgage Professionals and parent body, the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII), set to be represented at all the relevant meetings.
As part of its on-going campaign to offer the highest standards of professional development and industry-relevant CPD, the SMP recently confirmed a 10-strong schedule of mortgage & protection roadshows for 2016. The first series of five, in Q1, begins on 8 March in Newcastle.