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letters Building society is out of touch with architects

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The Architects' Journal welcomes your letters, which should preferably be typed double-spaced. Please address them to the editor at 151 Rosebery Avenue, London EC1R 4GB, fax them on 0207 505 6701, or e-mail them to Victorian@ construct.emap.co.uk to arriv

Your readers may be interested in my recent dealings with Nationwide Building Society.

As a sole practitioner, I am involved with many self-build schemes and clients that are generally requesting a self-build mortgage and, as such, I have to provide proof that I am a member of a professional body carrying pii (professional indemnity insurance): generally, this is a straightforward excuse until my recent dealings with a self-build project and Nationwide Building Society, which requested from my company the following information:

1. A minimum of £500,000 pii - which seems rather excessive for a project worth no more than £100,000.

2. Proof that I hold one of the following qualifications: frics, arics, fsva, asva, fciob, aciob; unfortunately riba was not included?

3. I must also be an architect registered with arcuk or mbiat, to which I responded that architects will register with neither body as the former has now been replaced by arb and the latter is an organisation for technologists who are not recognised as being suitably qualified to certify a self-build project.

My letter of response to Nationwide will hopefully help in its administration of future self build mortgages.

Moral to the story . . . If a financial institution such as Nationwide can show such ignorance towards the architectural profession, what chance the man in the street.

Andrew Bailey


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