A mortgage broker is a go-between for banks and consumers.
Their role is to know their customer and their financial details, and whether or not they should qualify for a mortgage.
They must also have full knowledge of the range of products available from the banks they hold agencies with.
An agency is a commercial agreement between the bank and the broker, which permits the broker to advise on the bank's products and receive a commission from the bank in the event a customer takes out a mortgage.
Brokers can charge a processing fee for their services, whereas banks do not. Many brokers have agencies with a number of mortgage-protection firms, which permits them to compare the range of deals available in the market.
Banks generally offer mortgage protection from one company, so there is limited market choice.
A broker must justify why they recommend a particular product, whereas a bank only offers products from their own range of services.
For those with more complicated personal situations, a mortgage broker can provide a quick overview of the options available to them in the mortgage market.