The FCA Plans to Free ‘Mortgage Prisoners’

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The FCA’s long-delayed interim Mortgage Market report was finally published last week, and one key finding has spawned gloomy headlines; the UK has roughly 150,000 “mortgage prisoners”. These are people ‘trapped’ in expensive mortgages who are unable to move to a better deal because of the stricter affordability checks brought in back in 2014.

The report also found that around 30% of all borrowers have failed to find the cheapest possible mortgage for their circumstances. The same report did find that there are high levels of choice and consumer awareness in the mortgage market right now, but customers still don’t have a clear way to be confident of which mortgage deals they qualify for and the FCA report said this was “a significant impediment” to people finding the best possible deal.

The good news is that the FCA and the Financial Services industry seem to be in agreement that this situation can be improved. The FCA wants to develop a solution that makes it easy for borrowers, early in the process, to see and compare the products they qualify for, and they’ve also discussed working with the intermediary sector to help consumers compare mortgage brokers. For those “mortgage prisoners”, the regulator is looking to reach a voluntary arrangement with the lenders involved to switch the affected customers on to new, better deals. The FCA is looking to publish a final report late this year, more fully exploring potential remedies to the current problem.

On the side of the lenders, brokers & intermediaries, we may see an increase in demand for CeMAP qualified interim resource to handle any new FCA directives that come out of this report. If you want to discuss your organisations specialist mortgage or compliance recruitment needs, contact Kind Consultancy at any time on 121 643 2100 or e-mail info@kindconsultancy.com.

Selena Tye

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