Thursday, September 06 15:51:58
The Irish Brokers Association today slammed Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton's decision to exclude mortgage advisers from the new scheme to give independent advice to homeowners in trouble with their mortgages.
"Brokers are Qualified Financial Advisers and many have far more experience in dealing with ordinary homeowners in financial difficulty than accountants who typically deal with the self-employed and wealthy individuals," said Ciaran Phelan, CEO of the Irish Brokers Association.
"Brokers have a far better understanding of mortgage contracts and what constitutes a good deal for the borrower. Each bank takes a different approach to those in arrears, so it's imperative that the individual advising the family/ person in financial difficulty has a clear understanding as to whether they are being offered the best deal available from that particular institution. Unlike accountants, brokers are regulated by the Central Bank and clients receiving advice from them are supported by the Financial Services Ombudsman. Why exclude those financial experts best positioned to assist homeowners in distress? Unless the intention is to simply get them to sign the offer from the bank. Qualified Financial Advisers who are regulated by the Central Bank and who are subject to a minimum competency code and fitness and probity standards would seem the most obvious destination for those who need support when dealing with lenders. It's probable that many of these ordinary homeowners have never had to use an accountant in the past and so may find the prospect daunting."