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‘MMR delay will create regulatory uncertainty’

The FSA’s decision to delay the next mortgage market review consultation paper will create a “lack of regulatory certainty” for brokers, according to the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries.

Speaking at the FSA’s annual general meeting last week, FSA chairman Adair Turner said the MMR needs to be subjected to “wide-ranging debate” before the next consultation paper is published.

The paper, which was due to be published in July, is now scheduled for the autumn.

Turner said it will draw all of the aspects of the MMR, including arrears and approved persons, responsible lending and distribution and disclosure, into one paper, with a full cost-benefit analysis.

AMI director Robert Sinclair says: “This delay to consulting on the MMR is a double-edged sword. While it will allow us to have more certainty as to the direction of travel in Europe, business decisions continue to be blighted by a lack of regulatory certainty.

“We had heard a softening in tone from the FSA in recent months but until we have a formal publication, firms have no clear guidance on what the regulator might expect.

“While a robust cost benefit analysis is important, lenders and brokers are keen to move the market forward in a safe and sustainable way.”

However, the Council of Mortgage Lenders and the Building Societies Association welcomed the delay.

The CML says there is “no need to rush” the proposals while the mortgage market recovers.

Chadney Bulgin mortgage partner Jonathan Clark says: “The sooner we know what it will contain, the sooner we can plan for it.”

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