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BSA says cost of loan regulation has hit £500m

BSA chairman John Parker estimates that the cost of mortgage regulation has reached £500m, well above initial estim-ates from the Council of Mortgage Lenders and the FSA.

Stroud & Swindon Building Society chief executive Parker says he arrived at the figure – which he revealed in his speech at the BSA’s annual lunch last week – from a detailed analysis of costs at the society grossed up for the market share.

He included the cost of external systems and additional costs for employees and questioned whether the expense is justified.

But Association of Mortgage Intermediaries policy officer Ben Stafford says the figures of one society cannot be used as representative of the whole market.

The FSA puts the cost of mortgage regulation at £136m, of which £83m would fall dir-ectly on lenders.

The CML originally estimated that the cost was likely to be £180m for lenders, double the FSA’s original prediction, but has since increased its figure to £250m.

The CML says it has been difficult for members to disentangle the costs completely s manly lenders have updated their IT systems to deal with other business – a job that they would have had to do without the changes caused by mortgage regulation.

Stafford says: “What is needed is a sensible breakdown comparing like for like. But the cost of regulation is a huge issue.”

BSA spokeswoman Rachel Le Brocq says: “Regulation is necessary but it needs to be cost-effective and proportional. An independent cost analysis would be very helpful to the industry.”

FSA spokesman Robin Gordon-Walker says: “We do not comment on other figures. The FSA found the additional cost would be £3.90 a month for the first year of a mortgage. This was based on rigorous independent analysis.”

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