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CML annual review: market flourished in politically turbulent year

by: Bernard Clarke
  • 20/12/2016
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CML annual review: market flourished in politically turbulent year
In a politically turbulent year, the mortgage market was open for business, and lenders remained well funded and capitalised, writes Bernard Clarke of the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).

Lending grew in 2016 and, in a competitive market, borrowing rates fell to a historical low point against the backdrop of a cut in Bank rate in August – the first change in official rates in seven years.

Our review reports a 56% growth in lending by challenger banks and specialist lenders, while building societies and banks increased activity by 9% and 5% respectively.

In support of a competitive mortgage market, we worked closely with Which? on a new mortgage tariff to make its easier for customers to understand and compare lenders’ fees and charges.

We collaborated with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as it considered a review of competition in the market – a project that will form a major part of our work in 2017.

The CML represented lenders on a broad range of issues across tenures, including implementation of the European Mortgage Credit Directive, and funding of the private rented and social housing sectors.

We re-instated a commissioned research function, publishing detailed reports on government housing schemes, the characteristics of residential landlords, tenure aspirations and shared ownership.

In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – where devolved administrations increasingly determine housing policy – we represented the interest of lenders, and hosted a series of conferences and other events, including lunches and dinners.

In a febrile political atmosphere, we maintained strong working relationships with changing ministerial and shadow ministerial teams, as well as backbench MPs and peers – and continued to be viewed favourably by political contacts.

We represented lenders in a high-profile media environment, publishing statistics, commentary, news and articles, and responding to media inquiries. Once again, personal finance journalists voted us number one for press relations in a poll covering 19 bodies, mostly financial services trade associations but also including the Bank of England and the FCA.

For members, we continued to provide a wealth of data and other information, and operated 40 committees and working groups scrutinising areas of interest to lenders.

We also ran a well-attended series of seminars, workshops and conferences, as well as our hugely popular showpiece events – the annual dinner, lunch and conference.

The review also lists all CML members and third party mortgage administrators, including 11 who signed up to join in 2016:

  • Bank of China (UK) Ltd, a provider of banking services, including mortgages, in the UK and overseas.
  • Bank of Cyprus UK Ltd, a UK-incorporated lender to owner-managed businesses and property entrepreneurs.
  • Mortgage administrator Capita Mortgage Administration Ltd.
  • Specialist lender Investec Mortgages.
  • Lifetime mortgage supplier Legal & General Home Finance.
  • Mortgage administrator Mortgages plc.
  • Mortgages and savings provider Newcastle Building Society.
  • Lifetime mortgage provider OneFamily Lifetime Mortgages Ltd.
  • Lending solutions provider Secure Trust Bank plc.
  • The Mortgage Lender, a specialist lender based in Glasgow.
  • Specialist lender Vida Homeloans.

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