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The FCA last week confirmed how much it spent on a logo refresh

It was revealed last week that the Financial Conduct Authority had spent a total of £66,000 to design a new logo…

Well, that is excellent value for money!

I can fully understand why they had to pay Saatchi & Saatchi £57,600 to refresh their brand, just the same as I can see this adding real value – “We are aiming to implement the brand refresh taking into account our value for money objective. This means that the existing FCA logo will be phased out over the next year as we update systems and templates as part of our move to new offices in Stratford.”

Maybe instead of moving their offices to Stratford a lower cost, better value for money area could be found… perhaps somewhere in the Orkneys?


Ah yes, the Leopard is unhappy with its spots. Instead of just the spots, we now have words telling you that they are spots. Genius!

Chris Hulme

Latest report from RICS is not all doom and gloom, as the market shows positive signs

The industry responded to the latest findings of a report from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors…

The perspective of the members who responded in April seems to suggest that there has been little change overall month on month, though the continuing lack of new instructions by sellers would appear to translate into lack of choice for buyers, which has possibly led to a slight cooling in terms of market activity as those wanting to buy simply can’t find a suitable property.

Having said that. the report indicates that buyer confidence and demand has remained consistent and, to quote the RICS report, ‘broadly unchanged’. Therefore, this dynamic, coupled with lower levels of available properties in most areas of the UK has ensured that house prices are still, in many regions, at consistent levels.

Sentiment from respondents suggest that lower levels of house price growth are to be expected in the short- to mid-term, but let us be clear; house price growth is still house price growth, therefore this isn’t the ‘Sturm und Drang’ headline that many would perhaps suggest and certainly modest levels of increases with regards house prices over the coming months would possibly be seen as a positive by many.

Of course, given the political developments in April and the calling of a snap general election, the RICS report mentions the impact this may have had on consumer sentiment, though the jury seems to be out as to how much, if at all, this has affected buyers and sellers, with some respondents saying that it has added ‘a layer of uncertainty’ and others suggesting that actually, it has had little or no impact.

What is clear, though, is that RICS members’ expectations are that there is an anticipation of a pick-up in sales and overall activity later this year, which would be in line with the pattern seen in other election years whereby pent up market demand generates higher levels of transactions once the main event is done and dusted.

Overall then, it’s probably reasonable to suggest that the overriding sentiment from this months’ RICS survey is that we’re currently on ‘tickover’ – and while that may not make for the most exciting data it’s equally not the worst place for the UK housing market to be in either, given current political and economic factors.

Brian Murphy, Mortgage Advice Bureau



Coventry brings in 125% buy-to-let ICR

Coventry for Intermediaries has brought in a tiered buy-to-let interest coverage ratio system. The ICR is 125 per cent if each applicant is a non-tax payer or basic rate taxpayer whose total gross annual income is less than £40,000. ICRs will be 140 per cent for higher rate taxpayers or those earning more than £40,000 […]

Co-op Bank

Virgin Money rules out Co-op Bank takeover

Virgin Money has pulled out of talks to buy the Co-op Bank as the firm negotiates with hedge funds about a financial restructure. Virgin walked away from the mooted deal in the last few days, according to Sky News. The Richard Branson-backed lender had been seen as the most likely firm to attempt a takeover […]


Lloyds rebuffed over PPI advert complaint

The advertising regulator has rebuffed a complaint by Lloyds Banking Group that an advert about protection insurance mis-selling was misleading. Lloyds Banking Group is the firm with the highest bill for PPI mis-selling, at around £17bn. In February Lloyds complained to the Advertising Standards Authority about a tweet from claims management company Assured Legal Services. […]

Frexit & contagion risk in Europe

Many commentators have suggested the UK’s exit from the European Union will trigger a domino effect, leading to its eventual break-up. Neptune Head of European Equities Rob Burnett discusses the likelihood of this happening. Click here to read more Important informationInvestment risks Neptune funds may have a high historic volatility rating and past performance is […]


Trust me, I’m a provider

By Craig Paterson, Underwriting and Claims Philosophy Manager, Royal London Hard-hitting headlines “Dying mother of two is refused life insurance payout.”1 “What a way to treat a dying man: Grandfather refused life insurance claim.”2 “A widow betrayed by a life insurance company.”3 With headlines like these, it’s no wonder some consumers don’t trust providers. Trust […]


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