Firing Line: Jeremy Duncombe

The new heightened regulatory environment has added fuel to the debate over whether the DA trumps appointed representative.

Advocates of the former point to the benefits of having complete control of business practices and avoiding network membership fees, or surrendering a slice of their commission. At the same time, they can use cheaper mortgage clubs and benefit from a host of support services.

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On the downside, brokers who decide to go it alone have sole responsibility for compliance and so advise on liability, which can be a burden for many in the present heightened regulatory environment.

Mr Duncombe said: “There is no right or wrong answer. It is down to the broker to choose the option they feel best suits their business model. There are strong networks out there, but there are also larger adviser firms better suited to the DA model. Our business model means that we can accommodate for both.”

Commenting on the prospect of providing compliance to club members, he added: “We are not manufacturers of compliance at this stage, but never say never.”

A lot has been said about the disruptive influence technology has had on the financial sector. Mr Duncombe said brokers should seek to utilise developments in technology to streamline the mortgage application process that has become more arduous post-MMR.

He added: “Advisers are spending hours to meet their compliance requirement, yet procuration fees have not been adjusted to reflect the additional burden, which we think is wrong.”

He advocates a hybrid solution rather than a blanket robo-advice service, adding: “A lot of mortgage applicants will want to make sure that they have some form of conversation with a human adviser for the foreseeable future. I think robo-advice will be good for the more straightforward products like pound-for-pound remortgages.”

Myron Jobson is a features writer at Financial Adviser


Jeremy Duncombe's Career Ladder

2013-present: Director, Legal & General Mortgage Club

2010-2013: Head of sales, Santander for Intermediaries

2009-2010: Sales manager, St James’s Place

2006-2008: Director of sales, Advantage

1997-2006: Head of sales, Platform