The FSA is to investigate self-certification mortgages again, less than two years after giving the sector a clean bill of health in a previous investigation.The regulator’s second examination comes on the back of industry criticism of its first attempt in February 2003 and allegations that some brokers are continuing to encourage clients to inflate their salaries to qualify for self-cert mortgages, as alleged in a BBC Money Programme investigation in January 2003. The new investigation will include mystery-shopping and a supervisory exercise. It is understood that the regulator has already questioned between 30 and 50 broker firms to determine whether adequate checks and balances are in place when advising on self-cert as well as making sure that lenders’ systems are robust. This will go much further than the FSA’s first investigation, which law firm Clarke Willmott found to be “limited” using material received in July under the Freedom of Information Act. The FSA confirmed to Money Marketing that it did not have the resources available at the time to carry out this project. FSA spokesman Robin Gordon-Walker says: “One of the things we indicated after M-Day was to look at sub-prime and self-cert. It could be said that there may be some potential for not following the rules in this area. It was definitely an area which warranted a look.” Clarke Willmott partner Philip Tebbatt says: “I did not detect much of a change in practice either from lenders or brokers following the FSA’s original investigation. It appears that our fears have been justified. This announcement is a mixed blessing. On the one hand, we have been listened to. However, in other ways, there is the potential that this will bring a lot of people some headaches.”
Fidelity has reduced the annual charge on its UK index tracker fund to 0.1 per cent from 0.5 per cent and says investors in trackers could save a total of 55m by switching. The total expense ratio for the Moneybuilder index fund falls from 0.7 per cent to 0.3 per cent, which Fidelity says is […]
Whenever a new person walks into a high-profile job, it is always intriguing to see how he or she differs from their predecessor, not just in terms of approach but priorities.
The National Association of Pension Funds is calling for a new independent standing commission to report to the Government on the impact of economic, demographic and social changes on the UK’s pension system and to advise ministers on measures to maintain the pension system in the long term.
At the launch of Jupiter’s Japanese income fund a gaggle of hacks learnt how to make sushi. Risky business, mixing journalists and sharp knives, especially given that the first question asked by the teacher was “Is anybody drunk?” The Diary is still trying to ascertain the identity of a mystery woman who was carried off […]
The introduction of ground-breaking pension freedoms in April 2015 has created some uncertainty for employees and employers alike, and they are looking for help. With further changed announced in the summer Budget, employees really need help to understand how the changes affect them.
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The Government should consider allowing people to lower their contribution rates to 8 per cent under auto-enrolment to prevent a potential spike in opt-out rates over the next few years, AJ Bell says. Contribution rates are due to rise to 5 per cent in April this year and 8 per cent in April 2019 with […]
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