Loan Brokers

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Loan brokers have been with us for a long time and over the last few years a number have grown into household names but as the credit crunch has deepened the industry as a whole has come under a great deal of media criticism as scapegoats have been searched for to atone for the extreme indebtedness of many borrowers. Whilst the majority of brokers are of course hard working professionals who try to act in their clients' best interests there may have been some who have been a little less diligent and one reason could be that, unlike the mortgage market, loan brokers only need to have a consumer credit licence (secured loans are regulated by the Office of Fair Trading but only up to a maximum of 25,000) they are not regulated and authorised by the Financial Service Authority, who apply far more stringent standards, in the  way that mortgage brokers are regulated.

This may be changing in the near future and many major brokerages will probably welcome tighter rules since this tends to give the industry a far better standing.  In the meanwhile a self-regulatory body, the Association of Finance Brokers has been set up with the aims of encouraging high professional standards and addressing the concerns of the regulatory bodies.

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