EU directive vote delay is down to UK stance

A key voting stage in the European mortgage directive has been delayed again because the UK is winning key battles, an MEP claims.

The vote in the European Parliament’s influential Economic and Monetary Affairs committee has been postponed to May 8.

It was initially set to take place before Christmas but was pushed back to February 28 and then April 25 as ECON members struggled to agree on the directive.

The UK is fighting proposals such as the regulation of buy-to-let and replacing the Key Facts Illustration with a European Standardised Information Sheet.

MEP Vicky Ford, shadow rapporteur for the directive on ECON, says the delayed vote is because the UK is winning key battles.

She says: “The majority in the EP have asked for time because they think some of the issues have not been covered properly in the rapporteur’s draft.

“In particular, I will not support this directive if it closes key parts of the UK mortgage market, such as buy-to-let or if it adds unnecessary costs to consumers because information needs to be written in standardised forms to keep Europe happy.”

Ford has received assurances in principle that the UK will have five years to implement proposed changes to pre-contractual disclosure.
She also believes she has gained concessions on buy-to-let regulation, meaning it will still be able to function in the UK.

Ford adds: “I’m concerned about products such as Lloyds Banking Group’s Lend a Hand scheme where first-time buyers are supported by savings from family. The text we were shown would have stopped those deals but I’m getting it changed to keep them on the market.”

Ford believes the final proposals may be approved by the EP and Council of Ministers as early as July this year.