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Rogue ‘self-cert’ advice firm targeting UK borrowers

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14/05/2013
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has warned borrowers about an unregulated mortgage adviser promising self-certified and 100% plus loan-to-value mortgages.

The website of Bolton-based Directhome states while the Financial Services Authority had cracked down on self-certification it had advisers who could help.

Although the firm has not been authorised to carry out regulated activity in the UK its website promising mortgage advice is still live.

On a page of the website addressed to self-employed borrowers, it states: “If you are currently self employed and looking for a mortgage then we can help despite the FSA banning self certified mortgages and Fast-Track Mortgages.

“There are a few loopholes that have not yet been closed and our qualified mortgage advisors [sic] and accountants can help so you can still borrow against your house, remortgage, move home and buy houses with the same freedom as before.”

Another page, labelled ‘Self Cert Mortgages’, says: “We still have advisers who can help.”

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But an FCA spokesman said: “Because income verification is a requirement under the Mortgage Market Review the use of self-cert and fast-track mortgages has effectively been banned.”

The firm also offers to arrange buy-to-let mortgages. Its website claims: “Did you know that using the right lenders we can get rates cheaper than your average BTL Mortgage and you can even borrow more than the bricks and mortar value due to the high rental income the properties achieve.”

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According to Moneysupermarket, there are no BTL mortgages on the market at 100% loan-to-value or higher and the maximum available is 80% LTV.

A Directhome spokesman said: “We are a building firm and do not offer advice or mortgages direct therefore we do not need to be registered with the FCA.

“Furthermore the brokers that we deal with use private funding rather than high street lenders so they can lend on whatever terms they choose.”

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