Guidelines needed for mortgage lenders

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Guidelines needed for mortgage lenders

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Posted on: 25/02/2014

The Financial Conduct Authority is coming under fire for failure to issue guidelines to mortgage lenders to financially protect customers when making an offer.

As from April, the FCA will require lenders to undertake stringent affordability tests to assess borrowers’ abilities to repay their mortgages before releasing funds.

Simon Burgess, director at mortgage protection provider British Money, noted that only a short-term assessment – affordability at the time of granting a mortgage – is required by the regulator.

He said Mortgage Market Review tests should also assess how repayments will continue to be made if an income is lost.

Mr Burges went on: “Over 1.2million households took out a mortgage, moved up the housing ladder or re-mortgaged their properties last year, and 96% of those will have no financial support mechanism to help them if their salary stops due to redundancy or illness.

Changes to the Government’s Support for Mortgage Interest Scheme, with a capital limit reduction from £200,000 to £100,000, a waiting time increase from 13 to 39 weeks and the benefit becoming a loan to be clawed back following death or a house sale, take effect from 31 March next year, further compounding the issue.

Burgess concluded: “I’ve surveyed all UK mortgage lenders and with very few exceptions, none have current plans to offer financial protection plans. This is detrimental to consumers and must be addressed.”

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