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Tyrie tells Osborne ‘get out of the mortgage business’

  • 20/05/2016
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Treasury Committee chair Andrew Tyrie MP has urged George Osborne to ensure the government facilitates an efficient exit in offloading mortgage servicing arrangements to Computershare.

In a letter to the Chancellor, Tyrie said the decision to transfer servicing responsibilities from the government’s UK Asset Resolution (UKAR) to Computershare, demonstrated the “costs and hazards” of government intervention in the mortgage business.

UKAR is the holding company for Bradford & Bingley and formerly Northern Rock Asset Management (NRAM), and was formed on 1 October 2010 to manage the closed mortgage books of both lenders to maximise value for UK taxpayers.

Tyrie said: “All necessary steps should now be taken to ensure that the Government is able to get out of the mortgage business in an orderly fashion. Taxpayer and customer interests need to be protected, and the government should ensure that lessons are learned for the future.”

Tyrie’s letter comes after he was notified by economic secretary to the Treasury Harriet Baldwin earlier this month of UKAR’s outsourcing arrangements.

Computershare will take over the management of £30bn of mortgages owned by Bradford & Bingley and Mortgage Express. Ownership of the mortgages will remain with the government and there will be no change to the terms and conditions.

Northern Rock mortgages which were also acquired by UKAR during the financial crisis, were sold to Cerberus earlier this month in a £13bn deal, finally generating a profit for the taxpayer.

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