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Mortgage industry must battle regulator harder to protect consumer, advisers told

  • 05/07/2016
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The mortgage industry has been encouraged to lobby harder against governing forces in light of ongoing governmental and regulatory intervention.

Addressing an audience of lenders and brokers at a conference hosted by AToM (All Types of Mortgages), Vic Jannels, group executive chairman at the distributor, asked why lenders were not doing more to question proposals set out by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and government.

“Why don’t lenders put their head above the parapet and say ‘that’s actually to the detriment of the consumer’?” Jannels asked.

“When you consider the amount of money that our sector puts into the economy year after year, it seems that we still get rolled over in order to put more money into the economy, but not always to the benefit of the end user.”

Matt Andrews, managing director of Bluestone Mortgages, said it was the whole industry’s responsibility to challenge proposals set out by governing bodies.

“The views of brokers right up to the lenders are important in getting the voice of our sector heard. All of us as an entire industry should be pitching against the FCA,” he added.

Paul Brett, business development director for Foundation Home Loans, defended lender trade bodies, explaining that just last week the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML), submitted a lengthy response to the Prudential Regulation Authority’s (PRA) consultation on buy-to-let underwriting standards.

“I think the CML did put quite a strong response into the proposed changes for the buy-to-let sector, but you could argue what teeth do they have in that respect,” he added.

“At the last Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA) meeting the issue was brought up and agreed that there needs to be more governmental lobbying, which is something that the NACFB do quite well already.”

In response to the comments, IMLA chairman Kevin Purvey, said the trade body was a strong advocate of increased lobbying efforts from the industry, which is particularly important now given the likely regulatory impact of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union.

“There is a line between stability and over-regulation and this requires careful consideration by industry and regulator alike. The market has experienced a considerable layering of regulation in recent years, which is putting pressure on lending levels and this also needs to be closely monitored,” Purvey added.

“It is likely that the mortgage market will remain a key policy area for government, and there are likely to be regulatory implications of our new relationship with Europe too. Lenders and brokers alike should stay engaged in those conversations as experts to help form as stable and inclusive a market as possible, and IMLA will continue to strive to support this.”

A spokesperson for the CML said we will continue to lobby on market intervention and other issues, in close consultation and collaboration with our members and other interested parties.

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