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Wait for decision on buy to let

Brokers question the feasibility of extending the FSA’s remit to the buy-to-let sector.

The review did not lay down any immediate plans for buy-to-let regulation but says it will expand on the issue in its September consultation paper on mortgage conduct of business.

It says: “The white paper will consider whether more effective regulation of the mortgage market and extend the FSA’s remit to cover second-charge mortgages and buy-to-let mortgages.”

Mortgages for Business managing director David Whittaker says: “Regulation would drive some transactions into the commercial sector, which the banks will then transact and will not recognise them as buy-to-let loans. This is a greater risk than the current light-touch regime.”

Whittaker argues that a buy-to-let investor with a large portfolio of properties does not need the same degree of protection as an individual who is using a single buy-to-let property to boost their pension.

But Nationwide’s buy-to-let specialist subsidiary The Mortgage Works does not believe regulation would have much of an impact on the sector.

A spokeswoman says: “We already treat buy-to-let mortgages in exactly the same way as regulated products, regardless of whether a landlord has one property or is a professional running a sizeable portfolio.”

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