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Euro group aims to boost cross-border mortgages

The European Commission has set up a forum group on mortgage credit to help open up the European cross-border mortgage market.

The group is consulting on how to make it easy for homebuyers to choose mortgage products from lenders anywhere in the EU.

Its two tasks are to identify the main obstacles to the functioning of a genuine European credit market and to draw up political recommendations for the EC on the best ways to achieve this.

The group is made up of 20 experts from 11 member states, including national consumer associations, representatives from the credit and insurance sectors and chartered surveyors. It is divided into sub-groups on consumer confidence, collateral, distribution, legal and finance.

The forum is meeting regularly in Brussels and will hand its findings to the EC in the first half of next year.

Internal market commissioner Fritz Bolkestein says: “The mortgage credit sector is crucial to Europe&#39s prosperity yet it is still very difficult to buy or sell a mortgage across a border. We need to change that.”

Consumers&#39 Association senior policy adviser Laurence Baxter says: “The jury is obviously still out on how this group will fare when it reports next year and how its recommendations will be taken on but it is definitely a step in the right direction.”

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