FCA reviewing mortgage adviser qualifications

FCA reviewing mortgage adviser qualifications

The FCA is working with groups from trade bodies, mortgage firms and academic institutions to overhaul the Certificate in Mortgage Advice and Practice (CeMap) qualification for new entrants to the mortgage intermediary market.

Meetings began in January and it is understood a consultation paper should be produced this summer.

CeMap is a QCF level three qualification for mortgage advisers offered by the Institute of Financial Services (IFS), which is the professional body of IFS University College.

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The qualification meets the standards required by the FCA to practice as a mortgage adviser.

The consultation is expected to propose changing exam scenarios and terminology, neither of which have been updated since 2011.

Robert Sinclair, chief executive of The Association of Mortgage Intermediaries, told Financial Adviser his organisation was part of the working group.

He said: “Thr FCA pulled a series of working parties together to look at what you might need to do to underpin the standards that underpin qualifications.

“We do expect that this is about making sure qualifications are now relevant to the modern market.”

Mr Sinclair said it was an ongoing process and any changes would not take place until 2017.

He added that the regulator was not currently looking to change the CeMap qualification from its current level three standing.

Instead, Mr Sinclair said the regulator wanted to update the qualification to reflect the modern mortgage market, taking into account new regulation and tax changes.

Principally, the changes would see an amended exam for new entrants.

Changes to the CeMap syllabus would be made by the Institute of Financial Services.

A spokesperson from Ifs University College said: “We would only make changes to CeMap to reflect any made by the FCA to the examination standards for mortgage advisers.

“These standards have been in place for some time now and we would certainly see benefit in them being updated to reflect recent developments in the sector.

“If any changes were to be made, we think it would be very unlikely that existing CeMap holders would be affected.”

The FCA refused to comment.

Adviser View

David Hollingworth, associate director of London & Country Mortgages, said: “The CeMap qualification is the exam standard set by the FCA for mortgage practitioners.

“The market’s been through such a lot of change that any training qualification will need to try to reflect that. It makes sense to have a review process and ensure that the qualification evolves appropriately.”