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Wells Street Journal: FCA’s PR hit by MMR gridlock

With headlines such as ‘The mortgage inquisition’ and ‘Time for a mortgage? Prepare for a grilling!’, newspapers right across Britain are screaming that the Financial Conduct Authority’s Mortgage Market Review will lead to major delays in the processing of home-loan applications.

But news reaches the Wells Street Journal that the MMR gridlock is also hitting the regulator’s own correspondence about the review.

More than a month after its original filing date, sister title Mortgage Strategy was still waiting in vain for a piece from the FCA on the MMR’s impact on mortgage brokers and their clients. 

(As Douglas Adams, author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, once said: “I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.”)

With the effects of the review kicking in last weekend, the pleading and ravings of a forlorn editor with a last-minute page to fill were not enough to ensure sign-off on the piece by the weekly magazine’s press day.

Insiders are suggesting the FCA’s recent “local difficulties” around a certain communications strategy have led to a “climate of PR fear” around its offices in Canary Wharf.

Anything beyond communicating the hiring of a mid-level postal boy requires the sign-off of the Grey Vampire himself and other members of the board.

Perhaps, though, these concerns are a little unkind to the regulator. 

Actions speak louder than words, as the saying goes, and the tardiness we’ve seen in the case of the MMR piece could be a perfect, not to say deliberate, symbol of the long delays and pain your clients are likely to endure when the new rules come into force.

Follow the Wells Street Journal on twitter here

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