The most recent statistics from the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association suggest that brokers are finding it easier to source mortgages now than at any time since the Mortgage Market Review of April 2014. Back in 2015, a year on from the introduction of the biggest change to mortgage regulations in decades, only 15% of brokers reported having no problems sourcing a mortgage for any client in the previous six months. This month, that number had doubled to 30%, and the last year has also seen a drop in brokers reporting difficulties sourcing mortgages specifically for near-prime borrowers, self-employed borrowers and first-time buyers.
This also suggests that, despite the alarmist headlines we saw at the time, the market has stayed very healthy following the introduction of the Mortgage Credit Directive almost exactly a year ago. There has been some disappointment in the low level of growth in second charge lending over the last year – but there is still growth, and I’m confident we’ll see further recovery in this area as brokers continue to educate their clients on the opportunities second charge mortgages can offer.
The mortgage market landscape has changed a lot in the wake of the MMR and MCD and I think intermediary channel is now more important than ever. Confidence in the market being up is fantastic but it’s important to remember that everyone is still operating under that same level of increased scrutiny that has been in effect since April 2014. As someone with a focus on Governance, Risk and Compliance positions across this space, I’ve seen a trend over the last year of more and more of the financial advice networks taking on more regional Training & Competency officers, and I think it’s going to continue to be crucial to have a strong, visible compliance presence that are interfacing with financial advisors on a regular basis.
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