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FCA should leave mortgage market alone until Brexit uncertainty lifts – Hunt

by: Bob Hunt, chief executive of Paradigm Mortgage Services
  • 09/11/2018
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FCA should leave mortgage market alone until Brexit uncertainty lifts – Hunt
Haven’t we got enough on our plate right now? I can’t help thinking this is a particularly pertinent question to put forward, especially when it comes to the mortgage market and any future Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) intervention.


I look at everything going on in the wider political sphere, specifically Brexit-related, and I can’t help but wonder whether keeping the status quo right now, especially from a regulatory point of view, isn’t the right way forward.

Jackie Bennett of UK Finance expressed a similar view recently, suggesting the trade body had ‘pushed back’ against the FCA’s Mortgages Market Study Interim Report.

She questioned whether some of the measures proposed in that much-maligned document should ever see the light of day.

This is a market which, despite it not being firing on all cylinders in all areas, is doing pretty well across the board.

Indeed, this is a market that has been subject to a constant barrage of intervention in the past decade.

And, while the FCA might think it is coming from ‘a good place’ in terms of future intervention, given what could be coming over the horizon, we might all wish for a period of stability.

At least until we get a clearer view of what life might be like for all of us post-29th March next year.


Steady as she goes


No one is suggesting the mortgage market is perfect, however, as the interim report itself pointed out, in the vast majority of cases it works perfectly well for the vast majority of customers.

Indeed, the entire mortgage market might want a little certainty that it can go about its business unhindered and unencumbered, at least for the short-term.

Staging an intervention on the mortgage market right now, without knowing how the UK economy might react to any Brexit deal (or no deal) seems to be putting the cart before the horse.

The direction of travel in that respect is clearly unknown as yet and, even if it is just for six to 12 months one can’t help feeling that we will all be better off knowing exactly what we’re dealing with during that period.

On other matters we can’t be so certain, and therefore we might all benefit from the mortgage market being left alone for a period.

Come next year we might all be thankful of such restraint.

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