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‘Now is not the time for the FCA to intervene in the mortgage market’ – UK Finance

  • 28/09/2018
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‘Now is not the time for the FCA to intervene in the mortgage market’ – UK Finance
UK Finance’s head of mortgages Jackie Bennett expressed concerns about the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) intervening in the market after the regulator’s interim report of its Mortgages Market Study (MMS).


The trade body “pushed back” against the FCA’s attention to price in the report, Bennett told the L&G Mortgage Club conference.

In the report the FCA found that around 30% of borrowers do not take out the cheapest product on the market and called for technology and other solutions to improve the mortgage process.

Bennett said there was a difference between the cheapest mortgage and right mortgage.

She added: “[The FCA] focused very much on price.

“We would argue that mortgages are fundamentally different from other financial products.

“We don’t think it’s a commodity in the same way insurance is, although that seems to be an argument we’re finding it quite hard to win sometimes.”


Accounting for all factors

Bennett said UK Finance “pushed back to the FCA about whether they’d taken into account all the factors that actually would go into whether somebody is eligible for a particular mortgage”.

She added: “We think customers’ circumstances are probably more complicated than the FCA looked at.

“There are so many more people these days who are self-employed, have multiple incomes, have complex income in one way or another.

“Then there’s the property complexities as well.”

There are many solutions being developed within the industry to make the mortgage process work better, Bennett told the conference.

“In our view, this is not the time we would want to see the regulator intervening,” she continued.

“By all means support, use the sandbox, think about ways [to innovate], don’t constrain what’s going on at the moment.”

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