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Editor’s Note: Play fair and everybody wins

We are all familiar with the commonly used expressions ‘To err is human’ and ‘You live and learn’, but all too often we fail to learn from our mistakes and repeat them, over and over again.

Heck, on a global scale we’ve headed down the same paths that have previously led to disaster, without even a glance behind; recent political decisions are proof of this.

In the mortgage sector, we have regulators in place whose job it is to make sure the industry learns from its mistakes and takes an enlightened approach in future, so as not to harm consumers or the market. What with the FCA, the PRA and the FPC weighing in on business, some may say there are too many captains at the helm of the regulatory ship. But without them it would sink.

It’s certainly true that the buy-to-let market has been singled out for a crackdown from all angles in the past two years, but the PRA’s efforts to introduce stricter affordability measures in the sector are only for the good of the market.

Lenders shouldn’t be condemned for introducing tighter interest coverage ratios and stricter BTL affordability tests ahead of the underwriting standards due to be applied from January. They would be wrong not to, and by doing so are acting responsibly.

Competition in the market has to be a good thing and it would be detrimental to all if lenders began to shy away from offering BTL products as they did following the crash.

On the other hand, lenders should be taken to task for attempting to lure consumers away from advice (see Product transfer sales tactics ‘break MMR rules’).

One of the fundamental messages from 2014’s Mortgage Market Review was that mortgage customers should be encouraged to seek independent advice for their own good, so it is somewhat shocking to find that lenders aren’t playing ball when it comes to product transfer customers.

Broker advice can only be of benefit to consumers, and it should always
be encouraged.

Finally, a heads-up that next week’s edition of Mortgage Strategy is the last one of the year, so now is the time to fill us in on any urgent news!


House prices edge up 0.2% in November: Halifax

UK house prices rose 0.2 per cent in November compared to October, according to the latest Halifax house price index. The average UK property was worth £218,002 in November. Meanwhile, property prices in November 2016 were up 6 per cent on the previous November. House prices in the three months to November rose 0.8 per […]


Market Watch: Will there be room at the inn?

Libor has fallen with the temperature to 0.38 per cent, while swap rates have gone out to do a bit of Christmas shopping A report out recently from Hometrack found that the gap between income and house prices had reached record levels in some places. The news itself is not that surprising but the figures are […]


FCA unlikely to loosen the shackles: Clifford

Imla may hope for a more optimistic approach from the FCA for those locked out of the market but it faces disappointment Several interesting white papers published in the past few weeks were designed to assess the market and to propose changes in order to develop a more rounded, fit-for-purpose process. The Conveyancing Association’s paper […]


Pension over-taxing

800,000 people are at risk of being over-taxed on their pensions, writes Steve Webb, director of policy at Royal London Hundreds of thousands of people receiving company and personal pensions should check their tax code to make sure that they are not being over-taxed, according to a leading pensions firm. Mutual insurer Royal London has […]


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