The Chartered Insurance Institute has renewed its support of the mortgage broker industry by revamping its Society of Mortgage Professionals.
The society, which has close to 10,000 members and aims to increase trust and consumer confidence in the profession, debuted its new look today (December 3).
Matt Hall, strategy and operations manager of the CII, said an increasingly complex and challenging mortgage market was behind the decision to overhaul the service.
Changes made include new good practice guides on growing parts of the market — such as second charge lending, bridging and protection — and regulatory changes, like the Senior Managers & Certification Regime, alongside more digitally-focused services like webinars and podcasts.
Mr Hall said members could expect the volume of content on the society’s website to increase substantially and be more easily accessible through mobile and tablet devices.
SMP will also hold several educational events across the country in spring 2020.
He said: “Looking at the current mortgage world, the market is shifting significantly and it’s a more difficult environment.
“We’re seeing big changes amongst our lenders, changes to the buy-to-let space and a busier later life market.”
Mr Hall said he wanted SMP members to be the “best they can” to ensure they could “win business” and carry on advising customers and clients, and that it was the “right time” to relaunch the society.
He added the industry’s focus on vulnerable customers was another reason the CII was intensifying its focus on the mortgage space.
He said: “We need to improve and encourage public trust in our industry and a key part of that is how we treat vulnerable customers.
“We want to translate some of that high level FCA guidance into culture and behaviour in the mortgage market by providing firms with practical recommendations. That will be a big focus next year and beyond.”
The new board is chaired by David Thomas, joint managing partner of Chadney Bulgin, and consists of a range of experts from mortgage services, lenders and advice firms.
Keith Richards, chief executive of CII’s Personal Finance Society, is also on the board.
Mr Thomas said: “I am hugely excited to be leading a board of talented mortgage professionals, and it is my aim that we deliver value to members at all stages of their career development.
“For many individuals, buying a property is the largest purchase they are likely to make in their life, so it is absolutely crucial they receive the highest quality advice from skilled professionals.
“By promoting continuous learning and development, the SMP aims to ensure its members deliver exactly that.”
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