FCA launches call for evidence on mortgage competition

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The FCA has asked for industry feedback and evidence on barriers to competition in the mortgage market.

In its business plan for 2015/16, published in March, the regulator signalled its plans to examine potential areas of the mortgage sector where competition was not working well.

It has now launched a call for evidence, which will pave the way to a formal market study to be carried out between January and March.

The review will span regulated and unregulated loans, and will include products such as lifetime mortgages, shared ownership schemes, buy-to-let, second charge mortgages and bridging loans.

The FCA says it wants to explore relationships and activities that are crucial parts of mortgage and house buying transactions, such as third party administration, packagers and surveyors.

It will look at these products and services in the context of changes to the market following the mortgage market review, barriers to entry or innovation, and firms’ conduct and relationships.

Consumers’ ability to access and on information about mortgage products and services will also form part of the review.

FCA director of strategy and competition Christopher Woolard says: “For millions of consumers a mortgage is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, financial transaction they will enter into in their lifetime.

“Competition can play a key role in ensuring the sector works well, delivering consumer benefits through lower prices, better customer service, and more product choice.

“We are seeking stakeholders’ views on competition in the mortgage sector. These views, together with evidence from the FCA’s wider programme of work on mortgages, will help inform any future FCA work on this key sector of the economy, including any future competition market study.”