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Hard look at issue of footprints

The FSA is looking at lenders’ use of hard footprints when checking potential borrowers’ credit records.

The majority of lenders now use hard footprints when checking credit, which many claim can be damaging as it can be seen by other lenders. When soft footprints are used, only the lender and borrower can see the search.

Treasury select committee member George Mudie asked FSA chairman Adair Turner if the FSA is looking into the issue.

Turner said: “The answer is yes. In the context of the mortgage market review, credit-scoring was relied on quite heavily in the fast-track mortgage structures that existed in the past, so it took on a much higher profile. In our current proposals, where we are asking for income verification, it becomes less of a significant issue but it is certainly something that is on our agenda and I will make sure it stays on the FCA’s agenda.”

Lentune Mortgage Consultancy director Stuart Gregory says: “This is more of an issue than ever because people are struggling to get credit and criteria has tightened.”

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