A voluntary broker qualification branded 'a complete and utter waste of time'



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Rob Jupp, CEO at The Brightstar Group, stated that a specialist finance qualification must be made mandatory in the market, otherwise it would be “a complete and utter waste of time” to implement.

The statement was made during The Big Debate at today’s (10th November) Finance Professional Show, which focused on the prospect of a specialist finance qualification for the industry. When the audience and panel were asked if there should be such a qualification to help improve the level of service and standards across the market, it was unanimous that they were in favour of one.

Rob was joined by panellists Emily Machin, head of specialist finance at OSB Group; Alice Williams, director at Pilot Fish; Piragash Sivanesan, managing director at Totum Finance; Juliet Baboolal, partner at Seddons; Stephen Todd, co-founder and CCO of VAS Group; and D’mitri Zaprzala, director at Avamore Capital, with the discussion moderated by Medianett’s editor, Beth Fisher.

On the subject of whether a specialist finance broker qualification should be voluntary, Rob strongly disagreed, stating that if it’s not enforced, people will not do it.

“Unless you make a qualification mandatory [and] an entry requirement to do bridging, you are wasting your time,” he emphasised.

He believes that lenders would need to insist that brokers are qualified to do business in order for this to work.

This opinion was shared by the majority of the panel and audience.

“I don’t think that the average broker wants to be rubbish,” said Piragash. “The average broker wants to add value.” This is where he feels a qualification can give a broker a pathway to reach a certain level of competency. 

Rob claimed that, in terms of education and professionalism, the bridging industry has actually gone backwards, as a result of the enticing 2% proc fee which tempts inexperienced people to enter the market and attempt to complete bridging deals without prior experience in this area. 

“We can’t sugar-coat it; it’s a crossroad and, what we do [over] the next five years will define our legacy in this world,” he concluded. 

Stay tuned for more stories from the FP Show tomorrow, including video coverage of all of the debates.

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