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The biggest mortgage news stories of the year

  • 24/12/2019
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The biggest mortgage news stories of the year
It’s been another big year for the mortgage sector, with news breaking of major changes to banks’ lending policies, regulatory decisions and political announcements that shifted the industry in 2019.


Here Mortgage Solutions presents the biggest news stories of the year.

A campaign kicked off by Mortgage Solutions’ Lana Clements saw NatWest overhaul its lending policy on landlords with tenants receiving housing benefits. Other lenders followed in a major turning point for the market.

NatWest ends buy-to-let mortgage lending block on benefits tenants


And we thought rates in the UK could not get much lower…

Danish Bank to offer negative interest rate on 10-year fix mortgage


HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) decided to tell tens of thousands of the self-employed to consider remortgaging their home if they were struggling to pay their tax bill. You commented on the story in droves.

FCA investigates HMRC for telling self-employed people to remortgage to pay tax bills


The banks stood up to developers who are making money from buyers of freehold new-build homes by charging them escalating fees to maintain roads and cut the grass on their estate.

High street banks refusing mortgages on new builds with escalating estate fees – exclusive


Habito’s ‘Hell or Habito’ adverts got mortgage brokers hot under collar and gave rise to complaints that it unfairly criticised the advice industry.

‘Shocked and angry’ mortgage broker complains to regulator over Habito TV ad – exclusive


Prime minister Boris Johnson offered a stamp duty sweetener, but only if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

Boris Johnson to abolish Stamp Duty for homes under £500k in no-deal Brexit scenario


In May, the regulator sparked criticism when it said advisers will have to tell their clients why they have not recommended the cheapest deal on the market prompting one reader to comment: “Has the FCA heard of suitability letters?”

FCA to require advisers to explain why they have not chosen a cheaper mortgage


Former Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) mortgage boss Lynda Blackwell caused a stir when she said the regulator should turn its gaze to to the equity release market.

FCA must rethink equity release before it becomes ‘a very serious problem’ – Blackwell


HM Treasury said it would not intervene and prevent mortgage books being sold on to inactive lenders.

Treasury ignores calls to help mortgage prisoners


Accurately valuing high rise buildings with cladding was one of the major news themes this year, following the issues raised from the awful events at the Grenfell Tower.

Surveyors risk creating next wave of mortgage prisoners through ‘black and white’ approach to high-rise cladding


But a solution appears to be at hand after Barclays’ head of valuations led the way in producing a certificate that lenders and valuers could use to confirm the safety status of cladding. This led to a RICS and UK Finance collaboration and the launch of an industry wide form.

Barclays developed cladding certificate set to be adopted by RICS ‘in next few weeks’


Execution-only was one of the biggest regulatory discussions of the year. So when the country’s biggest building society announced an execution-only partnership with Moneysupermarket it certainly sparked lively debate.

Nationwide launches execution-only mortgage switch comparison service with Moneysupermarket



After inflating his income and trying to pin the blame on his mortgage broker, this crook was found guilty of fraud.

Mortgage fraudster found guilty after trying to blame broker


The long-awaited changes to affordability assessments to help mortgage prisoners were finally published in October. However, many in the industry think they do not go far enough to help the majority of homeowners who are trapped on high standard variable rates with inactive lenders.

FCA implements changes to mortgage affordability assessments


And a change to private residence relief that was ushered in quietly during the 2018 Budget is expected to net the Treasury £470m over the next five years.

Landlords to be stung with cuts to Private Residence Relief



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