View more on these topics

MS Leader: Look to your laurels

After a year-long investigation into the way incentive schemes drive misselling, the FSA came to a conclusion brokers are only too aware of – big direct salesforces are too often failing consumers with a rotten sales culture and fixation with short-term profit.

The regulator has – quite rightly – ordered financial services firms to overhaul their sales incentive schemes and pay appropriate redress. The news broke last week that the regulator is already investigating Lloyds over its sales incentives while other firms will be nervously checking through their sales procedures.

But while the crackdown is largely aimed at banks, building societies and other large financial services firms, brokers must not fool themselves into thinking they have nothing to do.

The FSA also raised some concerns about smaller firms and highlighted that appropriate compliance structures must be in place, especially those who pay staff purely according to the revenue they generate.

Meanwhile, the Government last week announced a raft of housing measures aimed at trying to kick-start the UK’s stuttering economy.

These included a £280m extension to FirstBuy, the Government’s shared equity scheme, so a further 16,500 borrowers can take advantage of the scheme.

It also included plans to allow developers to bypass councils’ often costly affordable housing requirements if they can prove these make a house building project unviable as well as plans to build 15,000 new affordable homes and bring back 5,000 homes in to use.

It is good to see the Government is finally waking up to the fact the housing market is key to economic growth. But while these initiatives are to be welcomed, they are short-term measures which merely plaster over the cracks. A lack of supply of mortgage financing is likely to continue to hold back the market.

The Government needs to devise a long-term plan to ensure enough homes are being built and borrowers have access to the mortgages they need and are suitable for.


Straw Poll

Last week we asked if the current crop of remortgage deals are enough to spur your customers to move from their existing SVRs? A whopping 69.8 per cent of readers said no, while only 30.1 per cent said there were. This week we ask: “Will the FSA’s plans to crackdown on sales incentive schemes force […]

Signs of life for housing market?

It has been a challenging year so far for lenders and housebuyers alike. The economy continues to stagnate and we as consumers do not have an abundance of money with which to buy our dream home. A recovery of any kind, whether economic or in housing terms, is still arguably some way off. However, the […]

EU Flags European Union 480

UK to clash with Brussels on road to banking union

The European Commission is set to unveil a proposed package of reforms that would make it easier for UK authorities to be overruled on supervisory decisions affecting UK banks.


Cameron’s Cabinet reshuffle was relatively tame, replacing housing minister Schapps with Prisk, and they could take a lesson from this week’s product releases, which have taken an aggressive stance


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up