Connect for Intermediaries has joined the Society for Mortgage Professionals (SMP) as an associate firm.

Being an associate firm demonstrates Connect’s commitment to a set of core professionalism principles and Code of Ethics. Connect for Intermediaries will now be bound by the Society’s eight core principles.

The core principles include everything from demonstrating integrity to customers to investing in people through diversity and inclusion, and by funding ongoing training and professional development. It also includes wider commitments such as putting in place a corporate social responsibility (CSR) policy and adhering to transparent governance standards and processes.

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Connect now also agree to use a customer charter to aid transparency, including terms of engagement, typical timescales, charges and providing clients with a clear feedback route. Becoming an associate firm provides Connect to review its existing customer charter and consult with other like-minded firms to establish good practice.

Connect is already a signatory to the Women in Finance Charter instigated by HM Treasury.

Liz Syms (pictured), CEO of Connect for Intermediaries, said: “Many of the core principles and ethics laid down by the SMP are principles that our brokers and we as a company live by already, so it was a natural fit to join the Society.

“Membership will help demonstrate that we operate by the very highest professional standards, not only where are clients are concerned, but also towards our staff, our network members and to the wider society through our CSR policy. Our membership will build on our approach that a broker’s key role is to look after customers by providing the highest possible advice standards rather than just focusing on products.”

Keith Richards, chief membership officer of the Society of Mortgage Professionals, added: “Having high quality associate firms such as Connect helps to galvanise our aspirations to deliver a ‘united profession’ approach to building public trust in the mortgage sector.

“Being united will help to elevate the importance and value of professional mortgage advice and services at a time when more borrowers than ever are seeking advice. Membership of the SMP demonstrates a firm’s visible commitment to an independent set of professional standards which are available for both clients and employees to see.”