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FCA exempts two lenders from some elements of the MMR

The FCA has waived elements of the MMR rules for two mortgage lenders after a number of firms applied to be made exempt from aspects of the new regime in the run-up to implementation.

In the first three months of this year the regulator made decisions on six applications from mortgage and bridging lenders to waive or modify a rule relating to the MMR. Of those, two were approved and four withdrew although the FCA has not named them.

Among the MMR rules which lenders requested to be waived were those relating to affordability assessments, interest-only mort-gages and equity release.

The FCA has the power to waive or modify handbook rules and says it will do so if a firm can demonstrate that complying with the rule would be unduly burdensome or not achieve its purpose and if granting the waiver will not adversely affect any of its operational objectives.


Two-year fixes see a rapid increase

Two-year fixed rates are rising at their fastest rate in over two years due to the Mortgage Market Review and volatility in the swaps market, according research published last week by The average two-year fixed rate rose by 9 basis points, from 3.52 per cent on 1 April to 3.61 per cent by the […]

Investec suspends Professional Mortgages brand until transfer

Investec has temporarily suspended lending through its Professional Mortgages brand as it looks to move responsibility for the lender to its private bank. Currently, responsibility for PM sits within fellow Investec subsidiary Kensington Mortgages but the parent company wants to move this to the private bank so that it can offer ancillary banking products to […]

Barclays reports a 5% drop in profits

Barclays has seen a 5 per cent fall in its quarterly profits largely because of a big drop in profits from its investment bank. The bank’s profit before tax for Q1 2014 was £1.7bn, down £93m on the same period last year. Profits at the investment bank fell from £1.3bn in Q1 2013 to £668m […]


The better option to going direct

So here we are – Mortgage Market Review day on 26 April has been and gone and the earth did not spin off its access nor did mortgage systems collapse under the weight of all the changes they had to endure. In fact, given it was a Saturday, MMR appeared to pass off without incident. However […]

Japan Economic Insight

James Dowey, Chief Economist, and Paul Caruana-Galizia, Economist

The conventional wisdom is that following a roughly 50 per cent rise in the stock market in 2013 in Yen terms, the Japan trade is over and done*. So the story goes, those big gains were due to a one-off boost from quantitative easing (QE) and a depreciation of the Yen — policies that one should think of as a palliative to Japan’s economic weakness, but not a cure. Rather the cure, and by implication the necessary condition for a longer-term investment case, is deep structural reforms — a painstaking re-weaving of Japan’s economic and social fabric, no less. The story continues: this is a much tougher test than launching a blast of QE, and one that prime minister Shinzo Abe, although well intentioned and well supported by the public thus far, is likely to fail. Stick a fork in Japan, it’s done…continue reading


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