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Regulation concerns of new CML chief Gunther

The increasing costs of statutory regulation facing the mortgage industry is one of the most pressing issues on the agenda, according to new CML chairwoman Anne Gunther.

Standard Life Bank chief executive Gunther, who last week replaced HSBC head of banking and mortgages Clive Wood, says one of the CML&#39s primary responsibilities is to ensure that the cost of statutory regulation does not become disproportionate to the risks involved.

Gunther, who has been at Standard Life Bank since January 2002, says the CML is talking to the Treasury and the FSA to make sure this does not become the case.

The CML has long called on the Government to reform the stamp duty system and Gunther says she fully supports this move.

She says homeowners are already very heavily taxed generally and any increases in stamp duty could affect them badly. She believes there should be no stamp duty up to a level of £150,000 for first-time buyers and it should be graduated thereafter.

Another issue that Gunther is keen to get involved in is increasing homeownership. She believes schemes such as shared ownership and lowcost housing should be used to help first-time buyers get on to the housing ladder Gunther says: “A lot of commentary has been to do with first-time buyers and how difficult they are finding it to get onto the ladder. Many are able to afford their monthly mortgage payments – it is saving for a deposit that is the problem.”

The new CML deputy chairman is Nationwide commercial and treasury director Stuart Bernau, who replaces former Britannic Money managing director Tony Ward.

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