CompaniesSep 2 2020

Mortgage club launches ‘fair value’ pledge for DA firms

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Mortgage club launches ‘fair value’ pledge for DA firms
Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
ByChloe Cheung

PMS Mortgage Club has launched a ‘Fair Value Framework’ for directly authorised firms, to help advisers ensure their recommended protection products deliver value to customers.

According to the mortgage club, the framework will help advisers to demonstrate how products recommended to clients through PMS have undergone “thorough” due diligence and been assessed in line with FCA guidance on value for money.

It added this would assist advisers if they were asked to evidence what they have done to embed the FCA’s guidance for insurance product manufacturers and distributors.

The regulator’s guidance clarifies how firms should consider the value that a product and distribution arrangements present to a customer.

Jeff Woods, campaigns and propositions director for PMS, said: “All advisory firms offering protection and GI have a regulatory obligation to undertake product governance to ensure the products they distribute are right for their customers.

“However, some directly authorised firms struggle with this due to limited resources and confusion as to how this can be demonstrated in practice. That’s where PMS is seeking to help, with the launch of our fair value framework.

“Working closely with our provider partners, we will ensure the products available through Zenith are in-line with the latest regulatory guidance and offer true, ongoing value to the customer."

He added as part of the framework, PMS regularly requests information from provider partners to verify the products offered remain appropriate for advisers’ needs and continue to offer fair value to customers.

New provider partners

The mortgage club has also expanded its Zenith protection panel to 15 providers with the addition of British Friendly, Canada Life, Guardian, Shepherd’s Friendly, The Exeter and Unum.

The panel now represents the “vast majority” of the UK protection market, according to PMS, and is designed to give advisers a variety of choice.

Ross Liston, managing director of Bankhall and PMS, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted people’s vulnerabilities – both health-wise and financially. Advisers have a critical role in responding to this increased consumer interest and helping to strengthen their clients’ financial resilience, by having more meaningful protection conversations.

“To fully support advisers, we also wanted to address some of the issues in the protection market that are being driven by Covid-19, such as product providers changing their underwriting criteria and taking different approaches in the current climate.

“It’s a double-edged sword for advisers – increased consumer interest on one hand, but with protection products in a state of flux, which in some cases is making it more difficult to place business with confidence.

“Offering increased provider choice through our new Zenith protection panel provides a greater range of solutions to this potential problem for advisers and their clients.”