FOS will determine the extent of robo advice – and it will never approve
Regarding the recent Mortgage Strategy article on how far robo advice will penetrate the mortgage market, there is a distinct and important difference between using tech and trying to completely automate the entire mortgage advice process.
As for brokers being behind the curve compared to, say, estate agents, the answer is very simple: estate agents do not have to potentially answer to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
The FOS is driven by human decision making and it is not all about simply following rules, or indeed logic. To have the FOS as potentially the only human intervention on a complaint down the line is a heady mix with a digital advice process.
The FCA can bleat on about robo advice to its heart’s content but this is not really about the regulator any more. The ombudsman represents the greatest risk to all advisers at the moment, not the FCA.
If anyone can get the FOS to sign off on robo advice (which it will not do, anyway), then we will all pile in.
BTL regulatory changes will hit the people at the bottom – which is wrong
Karen Hedges’ recent article, ‘Rental surgery required’, sums up what is happening in the buy-to-let market.
But, to be honest, the reality is not that incoming regulation “could” increase the rental burden of tenants; it will increase the burden of tenants – which will lead to arrears, which will lead to more problems within the sector.
I am not saying we do not need control but, when fundamentally the changes will hit the people at the bottom, it is wrong.
Like most changes at the moment, it seems to derive from ideas generated at the top of the foodchain, not by asking the opinion of the people on the ground floor who are dealing with the actual clients.
All I envisage is the loss of the smaller landlord who was looking for an alternative investment, which I do not think was the original plan.
Whether the regulatory buy-to-let changes will bring more properties to the market is yet to be seen. But, again, it fails to deal with the changing needs of the population, among which a lot of youngsters are content to rent.
There are more pressing problems in the housing and mortgage market that require attention, ahead of the buy-to-let sector.
Non-UK resident BTL investors are treated as an alien species
The call for buy-to-let lenders to offer loans suitable for short-term renting is good news if you are a UK resident.
But is there any good news for non-UK resident buy-to-let investment buyers?
We continue to be regarded as something from another planet and are not entertained by the majority of lenders.