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  • FIRST POST
    • MSE Martin
    • By MSE Martin 7th Dec 06, 5:16 PM
    • 8,116Posts
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    MSE Martin
    Proposed Mortgage Broker Code of Conduct
    • #1
    • 7th Dec 06, 5:16 PM
    Proposed Mortgage Broker Code of Conduct 7th Dec 06 at 5:16 PM
    Hi following on from the discussion here I have drafted up a code of conduct. I thought it'd be easier for this to be the first post so everyone can see it so I've closed the other one off (sorry to make everyone jumpa round)....

    Here’s my rough draft attempt – knocked out so ignore any grammer type errors, no point polishing a discussion document. And I am open to suggestions or changes.

    Mortgage Broker Code of Conduct
    • Mortgage Brokers are very welcome on this board and are thanked for the time and effort they put in to help users. This site believes that it is always better to use a mortgage broker to get a mortgage than go direct to a bank or building society (see Mortgage Broker article) (LINK TO BE ADDED)

    • If mortgage brokers want to add a signature about being a broker to their post it should be “I am a mortgage broker, however any posts on here are for information and discussion purposes and should not be seen as financial advice.” There should be no note about the company you work for or any links. Mortgage brokers who choose not to use the signature should not indicate they are brokers in any other way within their posts.
    • Mortgage Brokers may have a single link to their website in their profiles.
    • Mortgage Brokers should not tout for business on the boards. They should not do unsolicited PMs offering services. Not should they ever say ‘see my profile for who I work for’ or any such guize. However if a user requests their service either via PM or post then I have no objection to that and the business generated. Any mortgage broker found to be flouting this ‘no touting’ rule will potentially lose their rights to post on the forum (PPR).
    • To prevent accusations of touting. Mortgage brokers should not simply reply to questions with what essentially boils down to a short answer then a plug for ‘you need to seek advice’. It’s important that brokers aren’t attempting to genuinely help the user with a specific answer, can’t answer the question directly then its best not to answer. There are enough links to where to get info and advice in the forum and the site to enable people to seek advice if they need to.
    • Brokers should be mindful that non-brokers can have valid opinions on mortgages too, and this forum isn’t a ‘broker-only zone’. I would direct brokers to read this post which details the sites position on advice sadly this site cannot and will not adjudicate on ‘what is good advice’
    • If brokers are following rules 1 to 6 code of conduct; this site will (resources permitting) be supportive. If posters are trying to stop the flow of information and disrupt it (which includes simply linking to site articles without reason/reasoning) as opposed to simply disagreeing on info or advice the site abuse team will err on the side of brokers.
    Let me know - this isn't set in stone - its a suggestion to move forward
    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
    Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.

    Don't miss out on urgent MoneySaving, get my weekly e-mail at www.moneysavingexpert.com/tips.

    Debt-Free Wannabee Official Nerd Club: (Honorary) Members number 000
Page 2
    • HelpWhereIcan
    • By HelpWhereIcan 7th Dec 06, 7:33 PM
    • 1,228 Posts
    • 1,282 Thanks
    HelpWhereIcan
    I agree with the code as it is. Got to say that I thought that was the 'gentlemens' agreement' we all had anyway, but heigh ho.

    Ken, do not panic. Martin actually says:

    If posters are trying to stop the flow of information and disrupt it (which includes simply linking to site articles without reason/reasoning) as opposed to simply disagreeing on info or advice the site abuse team will err on the side of brokers.
    If you have a valid point/objection, there will be no question of the abuse team erring on the side of anyone.

    Think we should just state our knowledge areas. eg. Mortgage Adviser, Mortgage & Protection Adviser, IFA. I think they are terms that most people will understand. Whole of Market, Fees free, self employed, AR etc are irrelevant when looking at the posts someone makes.

    If someone's generic knowledge is good, it makes no difference if they are whole of market, whether they charge a fee or if they work for themselves or a large bank. Their knowledge is what they are sharing, not their access to lenders or ability to source a particular deal.

    There have been some very good contributions made by employees of the banks as their generic knowledge has been enough to answer the OP's question.

    The only way to do checks would be fairly time consuming for MSE staff. Afterall, if MSE check my FSA registration, what's to say that they shouldn't want to see my FPC/MAQ certificates. Will they want to see my AIFA membership, my CII membership? Where does it stop? Will that make my posts carry any more weight? Don't think so.

    I feel we should identify only our areas of knowledge as above adding warnings as I have. Think a bogus adviser would soon be sniffed out. Having said that, hasn't happened to me yet!!
    Last edited by HelpWhereIcan; 07-12-2006 at 7:38 PM.
    I am an IFA (and boss o' t'swings idst)
    You should note that this site doesn't check my status as an IFA, so you need to take my word for it. This signature is here as I follow MSE's Mortgage Adviser Code of Conduct. Any posts on here are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as financial advice.
    • MSE Martin
    • By MSE Martin 7th Dec 06, 7:39 PM
    • 8,116 Posts
    • 42,310 Thanks
    MSE Martin
    Kenshaz. The point is not 'erring on the side that brokers are right'.

    This is about saying "if people are obeying the agreed rules" and others try and disrupt them from helping people, then the site will help the brokers.

    Actually in many ways the bias is towards non-brokers. There is no 'non-broker' code of conduct; the code of conduct is because some people may gain professionally from posting (not something I object to in itself on this specific board, if its for the right reasons).

    However the key is 'if brokers follow the code of conduct' then by doing so they need some protection from those for whom a code of conduct doesn't apply. Hence point number seven that 'if brokers follow the more stringent rules laid down for them, they deserve some extra protection from those who do not need to obey such stringent rules'.

    I strongly believe that is the way to go forward. While I am open to tweaks and improvements on this - the basic principles are a fait accompli now. Ultimately this isn't a democracy, its a private website that I own, and as I carry the can I have to make the decisions on what I believe are best for the site and its users. I think the above solution is elegant and codifys what we had when it all worked well.

    Martin
    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
    Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.

    Don't miss out on urgent MoneySaving, get my weekly e-mail at www.moneysavingexpert.com/tips.

    Debt-Free Wannabee Official Nerd Club: (Honorary) Members number 000
    • MortgageMamma
    • By MortgageMamma 7th Dec 06, 7:55 PM
    • 6,495 Posts
    • 3,231 Thanks
    MortgageMamma
    Martin just wanted to thank you for this, I now feel confident to post again in the knowledge that "civil war" will not break out and there will be no reason to be attacked verbally by another forum user. The rules are fair and are basically the rules we have all worked to so far, as payless rightly says. opefully now the forum will be a much nicer place to be and some old regular brokers who made massive contribution to the board will perhaps return.

    Lisa
    I am a Mortgage Adviser

    You should note that this site doesn't check my status as a mortgage adviser, so you need to take my word for it. This signature is here as I follow MSE's Mortgage Adviser Code of Conduct. Any posts on here are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as financial advice.
    • dunstonh
    • By dunstonh 7th Dec 06, 9:11 PM
    • 98,581 Posts
    • 67,058 Thanks
    dunstonh
    I guess my skin isnt as thick as it should be. After having what appeared to be a good discussion thread going in pension section, you do get demoralised by comments like this appearing:

    by slimey advisers ripping their clients off by selling them products designed to pay them the most money.
    You do wonder why you bother sometimes. Especially after saying that product [in question] pays no intial commission and only 0.1% fund based trail making it cheaper than the HL product that is mentioned as a best buy.

    Some people may have negative views but I hope this doesnt mean that they can be abusive to the advisers and we just have to sit back and take it.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). Comments are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
    • MortgageMamma
    • By MortgageMamma 7th Dec 06, 9:17 PM
    • 6,495 Posts
    • 3,231 Thanks
    MortgageMamma
    I've met many advisers in my time, of all different shapes sizes and backgrounds. I've never once seen one covered in slime though:confused: . I think the author of that comment is perhaps living on another planet.:rolleyes:
    Last edited by MortgageMamma; 07-12-2006 at 9:22 PM.
    I am a Mortgage Adviser

    You should note that this site doesn't check my status as a mortgage adviser, so you need to take my word for it. This signature is here as I follow MSE's Mortgage Adviser Code of Conduct. Any posts on here are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as financial advice.
  • kenshaz
    I think we have gone off theme ,why bring a discussion from another thread onto Martin's code of conduct thread ,seems irrelevant to me.If an abuse has been committed refer it to the moderators,,this is an important topic and the flow should not be disrupted,by distractions.
    Last edited by kenshaz; 07-12-2006 at 10:24 PM.
    To be happy you need to make someone happy.

    • MortgageMamma
    • By MortgageMamma 7th Dec 06, 10:34 PM
    • 6,495 Posts
    • 3,231 Thanks
    MortgageMamma
    I see every relevance here Kenshaz, as the reason the code of conduct has come into play is to set out the groundrules that we all must follow, and clarify to non brokers with a bee in their bonnet exactly what a broker may and may not do on these forums.

    The reason the code of conduct has become so necessary is because brokers and consumers alike are getting upset at the constant spats occuring on threads where someone has asked for help, and they dont get it because someone has decided to be nasty becuase they don't like brokers/advisers in general and are going to have a go.

    Dunstonh was simply demonstrating another example of this. I'm quite sure it is not going to detract from the original discussion as it is quite relevant, and anyhow it seems to me the decisions have been made and there isnt a great deal left to say on the topic.
    I am a Mortgage Adviser

    You should note that this site doesn't check my status as a mortgage adviser, so you need to take my word for it. This signature is here as I follow MSE's Mortgage Adviser Code of Conduct. Any posts on here are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as financial advice.
  • The_Bear
    It ought to be noted that brokers who choose the best option for them aren't going to be in business for long.

    Any broker executing your mortgage should be FSA regulated, anyone too stupid to understand that perhaps needs the brain transplant they are currently offering on the FRANK advert. If you take advice straight off the internet with no "2nd opinion" then please, give me all your money...im an adviser.

    Martin recommends L&C because they are a large company able to absorb the overhead costs an individual here wouldnt. Sound advice but if an individual here offers similar help then you'd be a fool to not take it.
  • toonfish
    welcome The Bear - 2 posts both banging the L&C drum. What costs exactly can they "afford to absorb"?

    Personally I think the signature think is pointless, but if that's what folk want then fair enough
  • EdInvestor
    I guess my skin isnt as thick as it should be. After having what appeared to be a good discussion thread going in pension section, you do get demoralised by comments like this appearing:



    You do wonder why you bother sometimes. Especially after saying that product [in question] pays no intial commission and only 0.1% fund based trail making it cheaper than the HL product that is mentioned as a best buy.

    Some people may have negative views but I hope this doesnt mean that they can be abusive to the advisers and we just have to sit back and take it.
    by dunstonh

    As is very apparent by the context,see post #14 this is just a general comment, not abuse of DH.

    Of course it's not surprising that DH is a bit irritated as he is being subjected on the thread to a detailed challenge on IFA charges, compared with those by execution only brokers, by the well-informed poster Whambamboo.

    Exactly the sort of detailed inquiry that you would hope to find on a money saving site.

    .
    Last edited by EdInvestor; 08-12-2006 at 9:15 AM.
    • MortgageMamma
    • By MortgageMamma 8th Dec 06, 8:24 AM
    • 6,495 Posts
    • 3,231 Thanks
    MortgageMamma
    Whether somebody is being subjected to such questioning or not, it really is not acceptable to be referring to a highly qualified professional as a "slimey adviser". Whether it was me in the spotlight or the observance of someone else being branded in such manner, I would be annoyed to, and DH has every right to be irrate.

    But then again, pig ignorant people do assume things such as, all blondes are dumb, all builders are cowboys, the "desperate" sales person (or is that just motivated?), all taxi drivers are avoiding tax, wannabe actors are cop outs and off course anyone on benefits is just ripping off the state and pure lazy:rolleyes:
    I am a Mortgage Adviser

    You should note that this site doesn't check my status as a mortgage adviser, so you need to take my word for it. This signature is here as I follow MSE's Mortgage Adviser Code of Conduct. Any posts on here are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as financial advice.
  • kenshaz
    Martin ,some of these posts are going totally off theme ,this is a very serious thread ,a lot of soul searching has gone on ,and now it appears to be trivialized.
    To be happy you need to make someone happy.

  • EdInvestor
    As I said, MM this is just a general comment, it clearly isn't aimed at DH and his complaint is spurious.

    I personally think investors should avoid *all* commissions to advisors - the advisor needs to get paid for the work he has done, so ultimately he will get his money either from trail commission or by upfront payment. It makes no difference either way in the sense that the advisor is not doing anything out of the goodness of his heart - he needs to earn a living. So if commission is not paid, and instead the client pays an explicit fee, not only does it not cost the client any more money (as at the end of the day the advisor always gets paid whether the payment is upfront and visible, or behind-the-scens in the form of commission), but he should get a better service which is not influenced by slimey advisers ripping their clients off by selling them products designed to pay them the most money.

    I do hope brokers don't take to reporting this kind of thing to the MSE Abuse team - and that if they do, that such reports are given short shrift.
    • dunstonh
    • By dunstonh 8th Dec 06, 9:26 AM
    • 98,581 Posts
    • 67,058 Thanks
    dunstonh
    Of course it's not surprising that DH is a bit irritated as he is being subjected on the thread to a detailed challenge on IFA charges, compared with those by execution only brokers, by the well-informed poster Whambamboo.
    The challenge uses incorrect information and is not from a knowledgeable background. The fact he is attacking advisers for taking no initial commission and only 0.1% fund based trail shows this. Plus its clear from other posts he has made that he is anti financial services and appears to be on a bit of a crusade. I have no problem with that at all. Indeed, that is exactly the sort of thing I believe Martin is referring to with the right to have that opinion. However, it is the tone of the responses. "slimy adviser" whilst in discussion with an adviser on the issues is rude, aggressive and ignorant.

    I havent reported, I have no intention of reporting. However, this is the sort of comment we often get, sometimes in general, sometimes aimed directly at us. When you spend time adding to the debate and answering questions, that sort of attack is out of order. Just a decent level of courtesy would be nice.

    Martin ,some of these posts are going totally off theme ,this is a very serious thread ,I lot of soul searching has gone on ,and now it appears to be trivialized.
    Kenshaz, you are the master of the off topic posts. Your sole reason for being here seems to be confined to posting attacks at the few of the mortgage brokers to in the attempt to provoke a reaction and promote L&C at every single opportunity. Even when it has nothing to do with the thread. You are the reason that this issue came to a head and required Martin to deal with it.

    It is a shame as you often have some very good posts but you spoil it for others with your abusive behaviour.

    The advisers of the board are being asked to be more tolerant of those that have an anti financial services view, which you clearly do. However, that doesnt mean it should be taken as a green light to be abusive towards the brokers and advisers.
    Last edited by dunstonh; 08-12-2006 at 9:31 AM.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). Comments are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
    • AndrewSmith
    • By AndrewSmith 8th Dec 06, 9:28 AM
    • 2,830 Posts
    • 2,238 Thanks
    AndrewSmith
    The code of conduct is, in my humble opinion, long overdue and much needed.

    I welcome it and see it as the first step in moving the forums forward and in line with the original intention and ethos of providing an environment for issues to be openly discussed and ideas shared.

    Of late there has been a definate 'us and them' situation on the boards. Some caused by possibly mis-understanding by posters, some casued by a perception of elitest attitude by some brokers.

    the code of conduct has laid down the guidelines for all to follow and give clear indication of the way forward. It does, however, need to be monitored and tolerance needs to be given on both sides of the argument. One person's opinion is not necessarily right or wrong just because it conflicts with the ideas or views of another. After all what makes us individuals is the ability to draw our own conclusions and apply what we think is best to our own situations.

    I think also that a lot of the problems have stemmed from the unwillingnes of some to accept the points of view of others. Maybe that is because those people passionately believe in what they feel is right, nothing wrong with that, just need to take on board and understand other peoples viewpoints and respct them as an opinion to which everyone is entitled whether it is agreed with or not.

    All posters should be extended the courtesy of being allowed to freely post their points of view as long as it is relevant to the thread and adds genuine value or assistance.

    The 'us and them' environment is so un-necessary as, after all, regardless of one's occupation, we are all consumers and I would suspect have benefitted from other areas of the forums apart from those in which an individual may have professional exprience.

    I want to personally thank Payless for his level headed and reasoned viewpoint as he has, far more eloquently than I am able, summed up and put forward exactly the thoughts of myself and I am sure others on the forum.

    Payless I also understand haviing read your previous posts how involved you were and still are regarding the mortgage forum and, without any admittance of rule breaking, offer up my apologies if my own behaviour has in any way demeaned the Mortgage forum or detracted from it's value. I now appreciate what the forum means to you and assure you of my future adherance to the new code of conduct, not that i am aware of having broken any of the forum rules anyway.

    Let's hope this draws a line under the recent unpleasantness and can now allow us all to get back to what the forum is here for, helping people save money.

    Andy
    Last edited by AndrewSmith; 08-12-2006 at 9:34 AM.
  • kenshaz
    I do not feel that it is appropriate for individual posters to comment on the operations of the moderators or how they function,either on impending decisions or potential.
    To be happy you need to make someone happy.

  • kenshaz
    Andrew Smith I feel that your sentiments are true and accurate,I do not mean to be patronizing but you ticked each box ,and yes Payless also has my respect.
    To be happy you need to make someone happy.

    • AndrewSmith
    • By AndrewSmith 8th Dec 06, 9:46 AM
    • 2,830 Posts
    • 2,238 Thanks
    AndrewSmith
    Andrew Smith I feel that your sentiments are true and accurate,I do not mean to be patronizing but you ticked each box ,and yes Payless also has my respect.
    by kenshaz
    Ulness you are intimating, which I don't believe you are as it would be totally inaccurate, that I am guilty of all the above then i don't find your reply patronising at all.
  • kenshaz
    Payless I also understand having read your previous posts how involved you were and still are regarding the mortgage forum and, without any admittance of rule breaking, offer up my apologies if my own behaviour has in any way demeaned the Mortgage forum or detracted from it's value. I now appreciate what the forum means to you and assure you of my future adherence to the new code of conduct, not that i am aware of having broken any of the forum rules anyway.

    Andrew I also feel that perhaps I detracted or demeaned the value of the mortgage forum for my own ends,I believe and still do that this forum should be profit free,and I did not recognise the value Payless attributed to the forum.
    I feel that others should follow your example and mine.
    To be happy you need to make someone happy.

  • herbiesjp
    Payless I also understand having read your previous posts how involved you were and still are regarding the mortgage forum and, without any admittance of rule breaking, offer up my apologies if my own behaviour has in any way demeaned the Mortgage forum or detracted from it's value. I now appreciate what the forum means to you and assure you of my future adherence to the new code of conduct, not that i am aware of having broken any of the forum rules anyway.

    Andrew I also feel that perhaps I detracted or demeaned the value of the mortgage forum for my own ends,I believe and still do that this forum should be profit free,and I did not recognise the value Payless attributed to the forum.
    I feel that others should follow your example and mine.
    by kenshaz
    Can we now have a group hug
    I am a Mortgage Adviser

    You should note that this site doesn't check my status as a Mortgage Adviser, so you need to take my word for it. This signature is here as I follow MSE's Mortgage Adviser Code of Conduct. Any posts on here are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as financial advice.
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