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Crosby to chair crunch group

The Treasury has appointed FSA deputy chairman and former HBOS chief executive Sir James Crosby to chair a working group looking at the credit crunch.

The group, which was outlined in last month’s Budget, will advise the Government on ways to boost confidence and attract investors to improve liquidity in the mortgage-backed securities market.

It will examine the appropriateness of full and regular disclosure of the quality of lender’s underlying assets as well as current documen- tation and reporting req- uirements.

Crosby is recruiting prom- inent figures in the mort- gage and investment industries to join the group. The first task for the group will be a broad-based assessment of the current state of the mortgage finance market.

The working group will present an interim report by the summer with a final report alongside the pre-Budget report this autumn.

Crosby says: “These difficulties stem from problems in the markets so, to be effective, any proposals to deal with them must be market-developed and market-led. Our job will be to help with a discussion between lend- ers, investors and the authorities with a view to ident- ifying market-led solutions that will work”.

Chancellor Alistair Darling believes the group will bring stability to the market. He says: “This work will be an important contribution to stabilising the cost and supply of UK mortgages.”

Association of Mortgage Intermediaries director general Chris Cummings says that the group must address the “confidence crisis” affecting the market.

He says: “Crosby knows the mortgage market well and can readily appreciate the fact that borrowers will look to their intermediary and lender to work together to bring a solution to the current problems. Central to the work of the new group must be the need to bring confidence back into the market. What started out as the credit crunch quickly became about liquidity but is now a confidence crisis.”


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