Commenting on the publication of the FCA’s Mortgages Market Study, Bennett (pictured) found that there are thousands more customers with inactive lenders or unregulated owners that the regulated industry would be unable to help.
Despite all, she said that the whole market is working well, with lenders responding to the challenge of ‘mortgage prisoners’ with a voluntary industry-wide agreement which has already seen firms contact over 26,000 customers.
Bennett found that lenders have been working closely with the regulator and its offer of more flexibility around affordability testing is encouraging.
“This will help those customers who are up to date with payments or who are not looking to borrow more.
“Requiring inactive lenders and administrators of entities not authorised for mortgage lending to review their existing customer books to identify and contact eligible customers is a positive step.”
However, when Mortgage Solutions asked UK Finance to comment on the FCA’s view on execution-only and its assertion lenders should be more open about criteria, the trade body declined to comment.
Diversification within mortgage market
Bennett said that the report also recognises the diversity within the mortgage market which has continued to develop.
She added: “In recent years, lenders have made considerable strides in contacting customers both pre and post the end of a fixed term, making it easier for people to switch on to a new rate.
“In 2018, this accounted for nearly £150bn of product transfers with just over half of customers taking advice when they do a product transfer. We look forward to contributing to the further consultation on advice and the consumer research as to why customers do not switch.”