We welcome your views on any aspect of the mortgage sector where competition may not be working well and could be improved.
In our Business Plan 2015/16, we announced our intention to review whether there are any barriers to competition in the mortgage sector. We said we would start this in autumn 2015, with a view to launching a market study in the first quarter of 2016.
This Call for Inputs forms the first stage of that work. It provides an opportunity for those with an interest in the sector to help us identify, in particular, potential areas where competition in the interests of consumers may not be working well and could be improved (or conversely if competition is working well).
We are seeking views, supported by evidence where possible, of areas in which competition issues may exist and merit further investigation.
The mortgage sector, defined as the range of markets for the provision of loans secured against a property, encompasses both regulated and unregulated activities. It includes, for example, lifetime mortgages, shared ownership, buy-to-let, second charge mortgages and bridging loans.
The provision of mortgage products is characterised by a number of complex relationships, and is intrinsically linked with firms’ funding models and wider retail strategies.
Some of these relationships and activities, which are key to mortgage or house purchasing transactions, fall outside our traditional regulatory perimeter. These include (some) third party administrators, packagers, and surveyors.
We are interested in how these activities or relationships might affect competition, for instance by affecting entry, expansion, and/or the ability of consumers to make effective mortgage choices.
We welcome stakeholders’ views on the range of factors that may affect competition in the provision of loans secured against a property, whether regulated or unregulated.
These include the activities of, and relationships between, businesses within the mortgage supply chain (e.g. lenders, PCWs and brokers), providing input or services to it (e.g. mortgage sourcing systems, sources of funding), or in related sectors (e.g. valuation services, estate agents).
Please send your comments to MortgagesCallForInputs@fca.org.uk by 18 December 2015. A list of areas where we particularly welcome stakeholders’ views is provided on page 26 of the paper.
We will publish, in the first quarter of 2016, a Feedback Statement summarising our analysis of the responses received and setting out any further action.
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