Call for advisers to provide FTB brochures

The chair of the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee has called for advisers to provide first-time buyers with an obligatory brochure as part of the European mortgage directive.

Sharon Bowles, MEP for South-East England, says all mortgage lenders and intermediaries should be required to give first-time buyers a standard brochure containing key information about the house-buying process.

Bowles says: “Speaking to my constituents, I know how confusing it can be when you are buying a house for the first time. It can feel as though you have to make several life-changing decisions without fully understanding what the consequences will be.

“I believe that all mortgage lenders and intermediaries should be obliged to put a standard brochure for first-time buyers in their hands, which would give basic definitions of all the key elements of mortgage lending, as well as pointing to where to go for more help.”

She stresses that there is a crucial difference between information being made available to consumers and actually being given to them.

Bowles adds: “We need to focus on financial education for consumers so that they can make well-informed decisions on which mortgage is best suited to their needs.”

The Liberal Democrat MEP has called for the measure to be included in the directive as part of her response to the paper.

All MEPs have been invited to submit amendments to the directive, which will be discussed by the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee on October 24 and either voted through or rejected by the committee on December 19.

The next stage of the process will be for the European Parliament to vote through the amendments, which is expected to take place in February 2012.