The mortgage market does not want to see the FCA rowing back on the commitments it made in the Mortgage Market Review around the need for advice, and it should be actively ensuring that access to advice is available to all that want it.
That was the view from a panel of lender representatives who were taking part in ‘The Great Lender Debate’ at today’s FSE London, which took place at Old Billingsgate in the heart of the City of London.
AMI’s Robert Sinclair (pictured) asked the panel whether the FCA’s Mortgages Market Study Final Report deserved the criticism it had received, in that it seemed to focus too much on technology and it appeared to be wavering in its commitment to compel people to secure advice.
Chris Pearson of HSBC said, “We don’t want to see a row back from the MMR”, while Adrian Moloney of OneSavings Bank said, “Advice is key as there is a minefield of different products and options out there for borrowers.”
Esther Dijkstra of Lloyds Banking Group argued that the FCA’s focus on price, over other measures of how suitable a mortgage is, should continue to be challenged by the industry, saying that the regulator needed to be “convinced otherwise” on this.
Dijkstra also said that the regulator would be better concentrating on the “haves and have nots” in the terms of access to mortgage advice.
However, Moloney also argued there was “a greater deal of certainty around the Mortgages Market Study plus some clear indicators of what it will mean” for the industry.
Each panel participant was also asked to provide advisers with advice on what they might want to do in order to develop their advice offerings in the future. Jeremy Duncombe of Accord Mortgages urged advisers “to use the technology to do all the hard work” but also stressed that the market needs to be clear to consumers when they are getting advice and when they are not.
Moloney told advisers not to wait three months before the end of a deal to engage with their clients, instead they should “engage with them through the life of that mortgage”, while Andy Dean of Nationwide Building Society suggested advisers should look at more specialist areas, suggesting there were a “lots of areas showing a high degree of resilience and growth”.