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FCA to review mortgage market six months after MMR

Regulator to carry out review due to fast moving nature of the market.

The FCA is to carry out a review of the mortgage market six months after the implementation of the mortgage market review due to the fast moving nature of the sector.

Minutes of the FCA’s September board meeting, published last week, show the board agreed it should review the state of the mortgage market six months on from the MMR. The MMR is due to come into force in April 2014.

A spokesman for the FCA says this is likely to be an internally commissioned report to the board, rather than a full post-implementation review.

The spokesman says: “The mortgage market is developing quite quickly at the moment. Recent figures have shown a significant rise in lending, and first-time buyers are returning to the market so we want to make sure the market is working properly for consumers.”

Figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders published last week show gross mortgage lending hit £17.6bn in October – the highest monthly total in five years and up 37 per cent on the £12.9bn advanced in October 2012.

The minutes also show members of the board questioned whether the “highly automated” approaches to underwriting adopted by some lenders meant some borrowers were struggling to obtain mortgage finance.

Board members questioned whether those being turned away from lenders with automated approaches “were being serviced elsewhere”.

London & Country sales director Michael Aldridge says: “Reviewing the market six months on from the MMR is sensible given current and predicted growth levels. The market is moving quickly and lenders are beginning to loosen their criteria on areas like affordability as competition increases.”

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