This morning three conversations have made me think of the endless optimism and faith in divine intervention.
All three have gone much like this conversation which typified the issue:
Me: “Hello I’m calling because I am in your area next week and wondered if I could visit to discuss secured loans with April the 1st in mind”
Me: “Well if you write mortgages then secured loans will have to become a feature of your decision making from April the 1st with FCA taking over regulation of the product. Even if you don’t use secured loans, you will need to demonstrate they have been considered”
Broker ” Not interested mate, I’ve never done a secured loan, and I have no plans to do so. Click”.
Oh the “click” was the sound of the phone hanging up, not some sort of maniac verbal idiosyncrasy that one might as a suffix to a sentence definable by its ignorance and insanity. A click that signified “rebuttal not welcome”.
Insanity aside, practices taking this view are surely incubating an egg that will hatch into a nightmare legacy.
FCA “So you re-mortgaged your client to a higher rate and they paid a 6% exit penalty? Why?”
Broker “They wanted a further £50,000 and their current lender would not agree to a further advance”
FCA “Did you consider a secured loan?”
Is this the moment a broker’s professional life flashes before his or her eyes? A slow motion car crash moment as the words formulate from a mouth that had previously rebuked a hundred loan packagers, those words that had condemned a hundred conversations to be ended by an abrupt “click”, those words that will now condemn and confound their predicament “I don’t do secured loans”.
The “oh god” moment, the family fortunes negative buzzer moment, a hundred conversations flashing through his mind, “I can help you with secured loans” click “We do secured loans” click “have you thought about secured..” click “Secured…” click “hey honey let’s have sec…”click.
CLICK. CLICK CLICK.
It reminds me of an old joke where a devout christian ends up capsized on his boat in the middle of an ocean. After an hour a lifeboat shows up, “don’t worry he says” rejecting the assistance “my god will save me”. Two hours later a cruise ship passes by, “don’t worry, my god will save me”, four more hours a trawler “don’t worry, my god will save me.”
6 hours later, the devout christian is drowned, his first words to St Peter are “why didn’t you save me? I go to church every sunday, where were you?”
To which St Peter replies: “We sent you a bloody lifeboat, a cruise ship and a trawler, what more do you flaming well want?”
Therein is the crux of the matter, when brokers inevitably fall foul of FCA compliance for not looking to secured loans, will they be saying; “Where was my help with the product” or “nobody helped me”?
I envisage a St Peter like response from the regulator!