United front needed to lobby on EC directive

The government, regulator and mortgage industry will need to unite if they are to be successful in lobbying the European Commission over its mortgage directive, say industry experts.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders says it has spoken to the Treasury which agrees that a number of proposals should be changed in the directive.

The trade body says the Treasury wants buy-to-let mortgages to be excluded and does not want the Key Facts Illustration replaced with a European Standardised Information Sheet.

Peter Williams, executive director of the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association, says a united front in the UK will help lobbying.

He says: “There is significant agreement across the industry, government and regulators and we must use that to sustain our lobbying.”

He says it will not be an easy task as the Treasury believes the UK will be in the minority arguing against some of the proposals.

But he adds: “The government is more likely to have an impact if it has strong support so the industry should now support its lobbying process.”

The CML also claims the government is opposed to the proposal that would result in lenders offering competitors’ products so that they can provide advised sales.
But the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries does not agree and wants to see advised sales made compulsory.

Ray Boulger, senior technical manager at John Charcol, says there is general agreement between the government, regulator, lenders and brokers on what they don’t want in the directive.

But he says: “The only area of significant disagreement between lenders and brokers is the question of whether to make advice compulsory in branches. If we can put this difference to one side the Treasury, regulator, lenders and brokers will be able to speak with one voice.

“We will have more impact than if we all speak separately.”