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Lender bodies oppose BTL regulation

The Council of Mortgage Lenders and the Building Societies Association have urged the Treasury not to extend the scope of mortgage regulation to buy to let.

In a response to a Treasury consultation paper on mortgage regulation, the CML insists that regulating buy-to-let will not increase consumer protection and could further impinge on lending volumes in the sector.

The CML says: “Inappropriate regulation could further damage buy-to-let lending, which has shrunk substantially in the last two years. Extending the FSA’s scope as proposed would undermine the Government’s wider housing policy.”

CML director general Michael Coogan says regulating buy-to-let mortgages would fail to address the issue of poor investment advice.

He says: “As far as buy to let is concerned, the regulatory proposals are barking up the wrong tree. For amateur property investors, poor investment advice is the issue, not the mortgage.”

BSA head of mortgages Paul Broadhead says: “Subjecting buy-to-let investors to affordability and suitability assessments in the same way as owner-occupiers is not appropriate and would result in a further constraint in the supply of quality housing to the private rental sector.”

Mortgages for Business managing director David Whittaker says: “Half of buy-to-let property is held without a mortgage. If the Government is seeking to protect the buy-to-let investor, reaching out through the mortgage regulatory regime will not reach everyone.”

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