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FCA calls for industry feedback on key mortgage market failings

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  • 07/10/2015
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FCA calls for industry feedback on key mortgage market failings
Regulator the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has launched a ‘Call for Inputs’ or study into barriers to competition holding back the mortgage market.

The ‘call for inputs’ is the first step in a larger review announced in the FCA’ s Business plan for 2015/16 with a feedback statement and broad market study to follow in Q1 2016.

The review will cover all aspects of the enlarged mortgage market, from lack of competition or barriers to entry for firms and product lines as a result of regulation, to consumer choice and firms’ conduct and relationships. The regulator is also encouraging comment on areas not highlighted in the paper.

The scope of the review will include bridging loans, lifetime mortgages, shared ownership, buy to let and second-charge mortgages.

The regulator said it would also review elements of the market which fall outside its regulatory scope, so also third party administrators, packagers, and surveyors or estate agents and all currently unregulated lending.

It said: “We are interested in how these activities or relationships might affect competition, for instance by affecting entry, expansion, and/or the ability of consumers to make effective mortgage choices.”

In the 33-page document, from page 26, the FCA has flagged some interests of ‘particular interest’ from a variety of questions on barriers to innovation to obstacles to market entry for new firms.

The regulator is inviting industry feedback to MortgagesCallForInputs@fca.org.uk by 18 December 2015 with plans to publish feedback in Q1 2016.

Christopher Woolard, director of strategy and competition at the FCA, said: “Competition can play a key role in ensuring that the sector works well, delivering consumer benefits through lower prices, better customer service, and more product choice.”

He added: “These factors might be affected by changes in the economic environment and/or changes to the regulatory framework. We welcome comments on how this should inform the scope and timing of any future market study or further FCA work.”

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