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Mortgage professionals speak out after Liz Truss resigns – analysis

by: Nick Cheek and Paloma Kubiak
  • 20/10/2022
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Mortgage professionals speak out after Liz Truss resigns – analysis
Liz Truss has announced she is to resign as Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party, after just six weeks in office. The mortgage industry has reacted with a mixture of gallows humour, demands for a general election and calls for economic stability.

The inevitable has happened. After just 45 days in charge, Liz Truss has stepped down from the post of Prime Minister, following weeks of market mayhem, an overflowing rumour mill and a disastrous mini Budget that put paid to the ex-Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng and was then subsequently overturned by the new incumbent Jeremy Hunt.


Prime Minister’s statement

In a short, sub two-minute statement outside number 10 Downing Street, Truss said: “I came into office at a time of great economic and international instability.

“Families and businesses were worried about how to pay their bills. Putin’s illegal war in Ukraine threatens the security of our whole continent and our country has been held back too long by low economic growth.

“I was elected by the Conservative Party with a mandate to change this. We delivered on energy bills and cutting National Insurance. And we set out a vision for a low tax, high growth economy that would take advantage of the freedoms of Brexit.

“I recognise though, given the situation, I cannot deliver the mandate on which I was elected by the Conservative Party. I have therefore spoken to The Majesty the King to notify him that I am resigning as leader of the Conservative Party.”

She said that she would remain in the post until a successor was chosen.

‘Stability please’

While industry insiders have welcomed the news, many are worried about the foreseeable future and have made clarion calls for some measure of economic certainty to help both the market mortgage itself and the borrowers within it.

Emma Jones, managing director at When The Bank Says No said: “Stability please. The country needs someone who has the integrity and the ability to do what is right for the UK economy.

“We need mortgage fixed rates to reduce to allow people in more complex lending situations to afford their payments.”

Simon Webb, managing director at LiveMore Capital, echoed the sentiment.

He said: “Of utmost urgency for every mortgage holder is the need to see interest rates and the cost of living stabilise so that they can budget for their futures.”


‘We need a general election now’

The majority of brokers and lenders are now very much in favour of a general election, with many believing that this is the only way to restore much-needed economic certainty.

However, with the most recent polls showing Labour with a 36 per cent lead and Conservative MPs insisting there will be no election until 2024, an election remains unlikely in the short term at least.

Samuel Mather-Holgate, IFA at Mather and Murray Financial isn’t so sure.

He said: “I expect that they will call a general election for the early spring and use the next six months to stabilise the economy and do a PR campaign on the electorate to salvage some seats for next term.”

Others aren’t so sure on the timeframe, just the necessity for the UK to go to the polls.

Amit Patel, adviser at mortgage broker Trinity Finance, said: “We need a general election now, for the sake of the economy. The longer this merry-go-round of prime ministerial mediocrity continues, the greater the damage to our country that will be done.”

Lewis Shaw, founder and mortgage expert at Shaw Financial Services is even more forthright.

“We cannot have more of this circus,” he said. “Every day, we look more like a banana republic led by donkeys. Let’s have an election, get it over and done with once and for all and inject some democracy back into the UK.”


‘Truss made one correct decision – resigning’

One aspect that all experts agreed on was that Truss had made the right decision. Although one was worried about yet another reversal after the mini Budget.

Mike Staton, director at Staton Mortgages, said: “Liz Truss has made one correct decision in her role of Prime Minister, and she made that today by handing in her resignation. However, the fine print needs to be checked so that there is no possibility that she can perform another U-turn on this decision.”

Anil Mistry, director at RNR Mortgage Solutions, agreed but was downbeat in assessment of any future bounce in the UK economy.

He said: “You have to give her credit here, as she has finally made the correct choice. However, too much damage has already been done since she became PM.”

The final word goes Riz Malik, director at R3 Mortgages, who is so happy about the decision, he may even join his family on a trip around a certain large Swedish furniture store.

Malik said: “The country fought back and won. I cannot express how happy I am. If my wife asked me to go to Ikea, I would probably say yes.”

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