FSA to boost consumer protection

The FSA intends to introduce a rule on excessive fees for mortgage advice or arranging, similar to the excessive charges rule that exists for investment business.

This will set standards for the prevention of high-pressure selling, excessive charges and inducements.

The FSA has proposed that a responsible lending rule remains valid for non-advised sales, but suggests that it should not apply to advised sales as the proposed suitability requirements will require that the adviser considers the affordability of a mortgage.

The FSA has also stated that consumer education is an important tool to help achieve its objectives for mortgage regulation. It proposes to concentrate on helping consumers to get the most out of disclosure; helping consumers to understand the limitations of regulatory protection, and providing help for particular groups of consumers, including those purchasing lifetime mortgages.