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Editor’s Note: Showing an interest

Rebekah Commane

We may be only a month in to the new year but there’s never a dull moment in the mortgage ind­ustry and the start of 2018 has been no different.

There have been several unexpected job moves, new lenders entering the market and a resurgence of FTBs, perhaps helped by the stamp duty cuts in the autumn Budget. Yet some of the same old issues remain.

The FCA has come forward to say that still not enough is being done for interest-only borrowers to ensure they do not lose their homes, following its thematic review into the loans. To be fair to lenders, the regulator concedes that they have actively been contacting their customers on these deals, but the message just doesn’t seem to be sinking in.

With the FCA stating that customers are having difficulty understanding why lenders are contacting them and what action they should take, it seems that more concise, easy-to-digest information on the options available should be conveyed to ensure these letters aren’t thrown straight in the bin.

Regular communication with borrowers seems crucial also so that interest-only mortgage holders aren’t intimidated, but instead feel that they have a point of contact to get in touch with to discuss their next step. It seems like a case of ‘a lot done, more to do’ for lenders.

Meanwhile, another rolling issue is the delay brokers experience in receiving proc fee payment from lenders. In our p6 story, networks and clubs are called on to help speed up the process and not leave brokers waiting for payment for up to six weeks. Here’s hoping 2018 will be the year when the process is streamlined and efficient across the board.

On a lighter note, this month the Mortgage Strategy Awards will take place on 28 February, once again at the fabulous Grosvenor House Hotel in Mayfair, London. We expect a record number of attendees and it promises to be a great night. I hope to see you there to celebrate this fantastic industry and the people in it!

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