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US plays Patriot game over money laundering

Lenders are counting the potential costs of the war against terrorism after it helped inspire a new set of tougher money-laundering regulations, writes Harriet Williams.

Under new legislation against criminal gains, banks and building societies face penalties if they fail to report their suspicions “where there are reasonable grounds to know or suspect a person is engaged in money laundering”.

But the concerns of UK lenders are dwarfed by the battle their US counterparts are waging on tougher legislation following the September 11 attacks.

Drafts of the US Patriot Act would require lenders and brokers to report suspicions over any transaction.

Three of the biggest US mortgage industry trade bodies are making their opposition known.

In a joint letter to the US Treasury, the trade groups say: “Lenders should not be expected to scrutinise payment systems issues such as who is making a routine payment.”


Packagers call for clarity

Mortgage packagers are calling for more clarity around their future role, and a stronger voice in the consultation process, feedback from Southern Pacific Mortgage Limited&#39s packaging forums reveal. The major point of concern is how far packagers can be regarded as giving &#39information&#39 or &#39advice&#39 &#45 or whether they merely give &#39information&#39 to their brokers. […]

IMLA voices its concern over qualification numbers

The Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association has voiced concern at the alarming level of apathy among intermediaries over the mortgage advice qualifications.Current MCCB rules require that mortgage advisers should have passed either the CeMAP or the MAQ qualification by December 31 2002 but IMLA&#39s research indicates advisers are not completing their qualifications.IMLA suggests confusion over the […]

Treasury sticks by plans to remove £5 fee cap

The Treasury has confirmed that the current £5 cap on brokerage fees not leading to a mortgage contract will be abolished. By removing the £5 limit the Treasury acknowledges there are occasions “when the appropriate advice is not to take out a mortgage” and paves the way for brokers to claim fees that reflect this. […]

Pink opens parachute

Pink Home Loans has reduced the rates payable on the exclusive Parachute Mortgage funded by Amber Homeloans. Borrowers can now take advantage of a minimum reduction of 0.25% regardless of the amount of adverse credit. Tony Jones, managing director at Pink Home Loans, says: “Many sub-prime productscategorise borrowers into light, medium and heavy adverse profiles […]

Reforming India: just the beginning

By Kunal Desai, Neptune India Fund

As global investors continue to scour emerging markets through the lens of reform potential, India shines bright. Indeed, we think it can sparkle even brighter. We anticipate India’s self-imposed 10-year ‘policy holiday’ to turn into one of the most pro-growth and pro-investment policy calendars seen in Asia in years. The Indian electorate has engineered a historic verdict. We now have the strongest Indian government since 1984, with the pro-market Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) achieving an absolute majority for the first time in the party’s history.


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