The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) released the interim report of its Mortgages Market Study, which stirred up plenty of industry reaction.
The regulator said more should be done to help consumers and brokers compare mortgage deals at an earlier stage in the process and recommended a comparison tool be set up to compare advisers.
However, the story that drew the biggest reader reaction to the report was Lloyds Banking Group’s surprise at the FCA’s focus on execution-only mortgages.
The way lenders interpret regulator rules came under fire from the former head of mortgages at the FCA Linda Blackwell, after she was refused a home loan owing to affordability.
The architect of the Mortgage Market Review said she had a taste of her own medicine, but criticised lenders who were avoiding ‘taking any risks whatsoever’ based on the rules.
Outside of regulation, one of the most popular stories this year has been the case of landlord Helena McAleer.
Mortgage Solutions reported how McAleer’s lender NatWest said she would have to either evict her tenant on benefits or find a new provider when she enquired about remortgaging.
The case has been particularly pertinent at a time when housing remains a huge national issue and provoked reaction from across the industry, as well as campaign groups and politicians.
NatWest is now reviewing its policies in this area.
Mis-selling scandals threaten to rock the financial services industry, as the window for Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) claims starts to close.
And one of our most popular stories of 2018 has been an examination of whether interest-only mortgages could come back to haunt brokers.
The FCA also raised the alarm over younger equity release borrowers between 55-60, which drew a strong reaction from our readers.
A star comment on the story subsequently became one of the most read articles of 2018.
A story looking at how some lenders don’t require bank statements drew plenty of interest.
And lender policies on loan to income ratios was another popular story among readers.
Concern over Santander’s minimum proc fee cut and its strategy towards brokers sparked plenty of interest.
Finally, the accusation that estate agents bump-up the price of properties to win listings was also in the list of most read stories this year.