Christopher Woolard, Director of Strategy and Competition at the FCA has delivered a speech on the regulatory and non-regulatory challenges facing the UK mortgage market. The key points from the speech include:
- Stricter international and domestic capital and conduct requirements (including those introduced in last year’s Mortgage Market Review) means that the assessment of mortgage applicants’ circumstances will continue to require more care than they did prior to the 2007 financial crisis.
- House prices rising faster than wages continues to be an issue in a market where lending standards cannot be loosened due to the new responsible lending rules.
- The impact of an increasingly “asset-rich, but cash-poor” ageing population could see a sector move towards equity-release mechanisms as a means of accessing capital.
- Regulation continues to restrict competition and the ability of firms/providers to offer new and alternative products within the sector.