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A late intervention

Edeus chief executive Michael Bolton has made the searing accusation that Government and Bank of England inaction has turned a liquidity crunch in the UK into a full-blown credit crunch.

He says that only a few months ago, intervention to kickstart the mortgage market by exchanging bonds for mortgage assets would have allowed the mortgage market to ride out the storm.

Now he believes we are heading for a recession and the mortgage market may take years to recover.

One has to ask the question of whether the Government and bank should have acted earlier.

If it is the right action to take now, why was it not the correct action at the end of last summer? This could be another case of Government hesitation allowing a crisis to escalate into something much worse. This comes at a time when mud is now sticking to the Government and one senses the electorate may be prepared to make them pay for their mistakes.

Bolton is now re-engineering Edeus to be a manager of mortgage assets, that is, it will manage the mortgage books of other lenders.

Full IFAs who have done a lot of mortgage business will probably be able to shift weight into advising on other lines. Some mortgage brokers should consider following Bolton’s lead and diversify, as network Mortgage Times is doing with its multi-tie. If this downturn is going to last two years or more, other businesses would be wise to follow.


MPC voted 6-3 for 0.25 per cent cut

The Monetary Policy Committee voted 6-3 for a 0.25 per cent cut in interest rates this month with one member wanting an immediate 0.5 per cent reduction.


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