View more on these topics

B2L remains under threat from Europe

The latest Mortgage Market Review paper struck a good balance between consumer protection and choice.


However, some areas will provoke further debate, especially verification of income, affordability assessment and the provision of advice.

The Financial Services Authority also notes that buy-to-let regulation is a matter for the government, which views this as inappropriate under the Mortgage Conduct of Business rules because it is a commercial activity and would not sit comfortably under a consumer protection structure.

Areas of the MMR make this more apparent than ever. Affordability in buy-to-let is driven by rental income, so most of the MMR proposals on affordability assessment and verification would be unworkable for buy-to-let – for example, looking at the borrower’s committed expenditure in relation to their ability to pay the mortgage.

The proposed control of interest-only lending would also be inappropriate for buy-to-let. These areas would need to be looked at solely from a buy-to-let perspective if ever applied.

But the threat from Europe still remains. The authorities have been unable to negotiate exclusion for buy-to-let and talks rumble on.

It has never been more important for us to make our voice heard. Our industry bodies are doing a great job keeping conversations alive and it will be interesting to see how things progress this year.


Inflation dip brings cheer to cash-strapped consumers

A 0.6% fall in inflation between November and December 2011 has been welcomed as a much-needed reprieve for financially squeezed households. Figures by the Office for National Statistics last week revealed the consumer price index fell from 4.8% to 4.2% in December 2011, the biggest decline since November and December 2008. The retail prices index […]

Profits up at HML as Skipton decides to keep it after all

Skipton Building Society has taken its mortgage servicer HML off the market. In May last year, the society was looking to sell the subsidiary and had issued a prospectus detailing its sales terms, but in August talks between Vertex and Skipton over buying the company broke down. HML has lost some high-profile accounts in the […]

The Mortgage Mole

Top man Mole was celebrating PMS’ 15th anniversary last week in the swanky Paramount restaurant at the top of CentrePoint in London.

Mental health in the mainstream

By Amanda Docherty, senior marketing consultant Apart from career success, millions in the bank and, on appearance, coveted lifestyles, what else do Rio Ferdinand, Lady Gaga and Ellie Goulding all have in common? They’ve all demonstrated that the power of celebrity can sometimes have a more altruistic purpose than idle gossip. Recently we’ve seen respected […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up