With Advent came the Council’s of Mortgage Lender’s (CML) annual conference and debates ranging from regulation to Bach, courtesy of Miha Pogacnik, the cultural ambassador of the Republic of Slovenia.
Louis Hagan, a representative from the Association of German Mortgage Banks, spoke about the realities of operating under a single European currency and competing across national borders with foreign lenders.
Following him, Toni Moss, a founding partner behind Eurocatalyst, an information services firm engaged in developing pan-European strategies for companies engaged in lending, explained the problems encountered when planning to enter foreign markets and lend across European borders.
Dr Michael Lea, executive vice-president of Countrywide Home Loans in the USA, discussed what might be in store for the UK market if it follows the example of what is happening in the US with regard to predatory lending practices.
This was followed by Peter Spencer, professor of finance at the University of York, and Graeme Leach, chief economist at the Institute of Directors, debating whether the UK should join the EMU. The decision was left to the assembled lenders who voted 59-42 in favour of joining the EMU.
Paul Smee, director general of the AIFA, criticised the amount of forthcoming regulation and the difficulty for small firms to get sufficient guidance to keep on top of changes.
Worries over the European consumer credit directive were also a priority. Kate Main, senior policy adviser for the CML, said much work was being done to ensure the market would not face a double dose of regulation.