FCA launches investigation into competition in the mortgage market

The regulator is concerned that tough new rules could be stifling competition

Simon Read
Personal Finance Editor
Wednesday 07 October 2015 08:54 BST
It's not always easy for borrowers to find mortgage information they need
It's not always easy for borrowers to find mortgage information they need (Getty Images)

The City Watchdog has launched an investigation into competition in the mortgage market.

It’s concerned that that the current regulatory regime could be stopping new entrants entering the market. Lending rules and lender requirements were considerably tightened in the Mortgage Market Review which came into force in April 2014.

It’s also investigating whether borrowers can find out the information about mortgage products and services they need easily enough.

Christopher Woolard, director of strategy and competition at the Financial Conduct Authority, said: “A mortgage is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, financial transaction millions of consumers will enter into in their lifetime. The mortgage sector also plays a vital role in the financial services industry and many areas of the economy.”

He pointed out that competition is important to ensure that the sector works well by leading to lower prices, better customer service, and more product choice.

The regulator has launched a Call for Inputs to collect evidence from interested parties, such as consumer groups and lenders. It will close on 18 December 2015 with an outline of responses received and a further action plan due to be published in the first quarter of 2016 with the option of a full market study later in the year.

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