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Abbey’s plans to enter buy-to-let is welcome news in a sector lacking competition. And I was relieved to see the latest MMR paper contains ideas that will actually make things better for borrowers




HERO OF THE WEEK is Norwich and Peterborough. It has slashed its 85% LTV five-year fixed rates from 4.99% to 4.88%, and from 5.24% to 5.13%. It is wonderful to see greater competition at high LTVs.


VILLAINS OF THE WEEK are debt management firms sending complaints to brokers for fictitious product sales. Just because a firm has sold a mortgage from a specialist does not mean they have sold a single premium PPI policy with it.


FSA is still missing the point – it should insist advice is given

With regard to the FSA’s latest stipulation that anyone involved in the sale of a mortgage should have a Level 3 qualification, surely it is still missing the point. All face-to-face mortgage sales should be advised, whether by a broker or a lender. Obviously, to give advice advisers must have CeMAP or its equivalent, so […]


At last, a reason for brokers to be happy

The proposal from the Financial Services Authority to make every mortgage seller hold the Level 3 mortgage qualification should have been music to the ears of brokers. The aim is to improve the professional standards of all those involved in the mortgage sale, not just advisers. But the increased cost for lenders in getting their […]


Pension over-taxing

800,000 people are at risk of being over-taxed on their pensions, writes Steve Webb, director of policy at Royal London Hundreds of thousands of people receiving company and personal pensions should check their tax code to make sure that they are not being over-taxed, according to a leading pensions firm. Mutual insurer Royal London has […]


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