AMI criticises FCA fees consultation

The Association of Mortgage Intermediaries (AMI) has criticised the FCA’s latest consultation on regulated fees and levies.

The trade body stated that the consultation is “not the FCA fees transformation AMI wanted”.

The FCA announced today it is consulting on periodic fees rates for the 2021/22 financial year and further FCA fees policy proposals. The regulator is also consulting on the Financial Ombudsman Service general levy, Money and Pensions Service, Devolved Authorities and illegal money-lending levies for the next financial year.

However, the AMI has stated its disappointment that having acknowledged the “huge spike” in FSCS costs, the FCA is also “intent” on increasing the cost burden on firms at a time of falling revenues.

In its first major consultation on fees, the FCA announced a five-week consultation – which the AMI described as the “shortest in memory” – as well as significant increases to the minimum fee on consumer credit where AMI members have no income, despite prior assurances.

“In apologising for having failed a number of consumers, it is again the good firms who remain who are picking up the bill,” AMI chief executive, Robert Sinclair, commented.

“I am particularly concerned that having found issues in controls over appointed representatives (ARs) in the investments and general insurance space, a broad brush approach has been applied without consultation.

“To add a cost of £250 for each AR to a mortgage network without evidence of harm seems unfair. AMI will be challenging this rushed change to the rules and the cost to firms robustly.

“For what is another significant addition of new fee classes and costs, a five week response time leaves us very limited time to consult with our membership.”

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