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Shared views will aid mortgage debate

Michael Coogan
MICHAEL COOGAN, DIRECTOR-GENERAL, COUNCIL OF MORTGAGE LENDERS

The Financial Services Consumer Panel recently published a six-point plan for a sustainable and flexible mortgage market. It could have been penned by the CML, there was such a convergence of views.

It argued regulation should help consumers and that regulatory policy should take account of wider social and economic implications a key point we made last year.

It said lenders should judge affordability and suitability for individual consumers we agree with that.

We believe it is important the Financial Services Authority announces a structure to help both those wanting to get on the housing ladder and existing home owners.

So transitional arrangements need to take account of all segments of the market.

The panel said a future regulatory structure should be responsive to consumers’ needs and we would add proportionate from an industry perspective.
Finally, the panel asks for a balanced debate to overcome the polarised views on the mortgage market.

This is what Adair Turner, chairman of the FSA, and the CML have been saying, and why we produced segmented factual market analysis and consumer research on existing and future borrowers on which to base the debate.

The panel balances the need for consumer protection with consumer choice. If its plan can help narrow the gulf between some consumer organisations and the industry, it can only have a positive effect in the debate.

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