The UK Financial Services Authority has published a public censure in respect of PB Roberts, a mortgage broker, for poor record keeping and publishing unclear advertising material.
Financial Services Authority’s (FSA) investigations found that PB Roberts could not demonstrate why it had recommended certain mortgages or if customers had been offered the cheapest deal – even though many of its customers were in the sub prime or self-certified market.
In addition, despite previous warnings from the FSA, the firm has published three mortgage advertisements in local media which did not state a precise fee or display the APR figure and risk warnings prominently. One of the promotions generated sales worth GBP11,802.
In determining the appropriate disciplinary measure, the FSA took into account a number of mitigating factors. PB Roberts was open and co-operative with the FSA and stopped publishing financial promotions in September 2006. The firm has agreed to increase compliance monitoring over its mortgage sales process for the next 12 months and any promotional material will be signed off by an individual with appropriate expertise.
Margaret Cole, director of enforcement at FSA, said: Firms need to know that it is unacceptable for them to publish unclear promotional material or put their customers at risk of receiving unsuitable advice. Mortgages are significant commitments for consumers and they need to be confident that they are being advised to choose the right product.