Outgoing head of CML urges political debate

Matthew Wyles, outgoing chairman of the Council of Mortgage Len-ders, used his final speech at the trade body last week to call for a political debate on the Mortgage Market Review.

Speaking at the CML’s annual conference, he told delegates it was impossible for the CML and the Financial Services Authority to do their jobs properly until the govern-ment put forward its vision for the housing market.

The CML invited housing minister Grant Shapps and Mark Hoban, financial secretary, to the confe-rence, but Wyles says they declined to attend.

Wyles says: “Despite FSA chairman Lord Adair Turner’s calls for a public policy debate, the CML has been one of the few bodies prepared to put its money where its mouth is and engage in that debate.

“The views of the housing minister and the financial secretary have so far been absent.”

He says it is not clear what policy objectives the trade body and the regulator are working towards.

He adds: “In a logical world the questions of how we should re-gulate ought to tie in not only with the political rhetoric of the age of home ownership aspiration, but with the nitty gritty of how com-mitted we are as a society to that vision.”

Wyles says that by the year-end, gross lending by the industry is likely to have totalled around £137bn, with net lending at £9bn and only 160,000 first-time buyer mortgages.

He says capital and liquidity requirements are already driving lenders to adopt risk-averse strategies.

Wyles also revealed that Colin Walsh, managing director of mortgages at Lloyds Banking Group, has been nominated to replace Wyles, who will leave in January.

The Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association also announ-ced its new executive board last week.

John Heron, group director of mortgages at Paragon, has been elected chairman for 2010/11.

Tony Ward, chief executive of Home Funding, will continue in the role of deputy chairman and Peter Williams will remain as executive director.
IMLA says that in the new year it plans to hold meetings with inter-mediaries, trade bodies, major networks and distributors of mortgages to try and get the market moving again.