MMR delay is double-edged sword, says AMI

The Association of Mortgage Intermediaries says the delay to the Mortgage Market Review creates further regulatory uncertainty in the market.

Adair Turner, chairman of the Financial Services Authority, revealed this morning that it will not publish its proposals in July but will instead wait until the autumn.

Robert Sinclair, director of AMI, says whilst the delay will allow us to have more certainty as to the direction of travel in Europe, business decisions continue to be blighted by a lack of regulatory certainty.

He says: “We had heard a softening in tone from the FSA in recent months, but until we have a formal publication firms have no clear guidance on what the regulator might expect. Whilst a robust cost benefit analysis is important, lenders and brokers are keen to move the market forward in a safe and sustainable way.

“This delay must be used to ensure all issues are resolved and that the MMR provides a level playing-field between the UK and other member states and between UK lenders and intermediaries.”

Meanwhile, John Heron, chairman of The Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association says it welcomes the delay.

He says: “It is vital that the FSA gets such an important document right and that its analysis is of the highest possible standard to enable an informed debate on the issues. This delay presents an opportunity for lenders to work with the FSA to address any concerns it has about the industry and the way in which it operates.

“The great tension here is between consumer protection and consumer choice. There is no great science in being able to achieve the right balance but certainly an extended period for reflection and consultation is more likely to deliver a better outcome. IMLA welcomes this and the opportunity to engage positively with the FSA.”