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14| Questions from Hell
from hell
This month’s Questions from Hell tackles
all your mortgage and GI regulatory
queries courtesy of Bill Warren
it is at present to ensure clients/consumers get The real question is were the right ques-
s we move very rapidly the most appropriate advice to suit their cir- tions being asked to gather the data decisions
towards 2010 the need to cumstances. Let’s all hope this optimism con- are being made on? No one questions that the
fight for survival remains tinues to expand as 2010 gets closer, and self-cert arena was abused by some and
key for most businesses. perhaps many firms can enjoy a more relaxing ignored by others, but the market itself has
That said many visitors to Christmas. largely addressed this so banning self-cert now
Mortgage Business Expo in Against this aura of positive expectations is again closing the door after the horse has
mid-November seemed both the MMR and the new Financial Services Bill bolted. Should the regulator have being doing
cautiously optimistic and naturally glad to are gathering a head of steam, which could more with lenders before the problems arose
have survived 2009, genuinely believing there put a temporary brake on the improvements perhaps?
were real signs of the worst being over in the in the general market situation. The uncer-
mortgage industry. tainties generated by the MMR will exist for a Restrictions
That much abused phrase ‘green shoots’ few months yet, although words spoken by One proposal that I find difficult to imagine
springs to mind but most economic commen- senior representatives of the FSA have given in practice is the redefining of the scope
tators remain rightly cautious when there are hope that common sense will prevail. of service to sit comfortably with the RDR,
still well respected mortgage firms ceasing to between independent and restricted advice.
trade having survived what seemed to be the Concerns How many advisers will want the words
worst period. Despite this drag affect many This may be fine and encouraging but the ‘restricted advice’ on their business cards; not
firms report increased levels of business, bottom line remains that what is written tends many I would suggest. I hope the FSA receive
including a quote from one firm that ‘we have to be the detail that firms and individuals have a mountain of responses on this issue from
gone from zero to doing some business’. to interpret and implement, as applying the firms feeding back on the MMR.
thoughts and interpretations of the senior Nothing is set in stone yet so let’s give
Optimistic directors of the FSA is both difficult and risky. the FSA a lot of reading. The FSA is,
So, should we be optimistic as we prepare to One major concern for many, including the through the MMR, seeking to change
enter 2010? Yes is almost certainly the answer two main mortgage trade bodies, as I under- our society’s approach to home ownership
with more funds becoming available, and stand it, is that the data used by the FSA does and borrowing money, which in the
more lenders seemingly on the horizon if the not reflect what the market believes to be context of consumer money management
press are to be believed. With the divesting accurate. This applies to the ‘income verifica- is a good thing. However the fundamental
process for the RBS and Lloyds Banking tion’ issue, for example; the FSA states that 45 freedom of choice and personal ambitions
Groups about to commence, in theory the per cent of loans provided in 2006/7 had no are being very seriously eroded by
increase in the numbers of lenders should income verification. The worry is that fast these proposals. Does the British public
increase competition and start to make the track cases will have been included, many of know? I doubt it but they will care in due
intermediary’s role even more important than which did require income details. course.
January 2010 Mortgage Introducer
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