The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has today launched a Call for Inputs on competition in the mortgage sector. The Call for Inputs provides an opportunity for interested parties to help the FCA identify potential areas where competition may not be working well and could be improved.
Christopher Woolard, Director of Strategy and Competition at the FCA, said:
'For millions of consumers a mortgage is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, financial transaction they 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.
'Competition can play a key role in ensuring that the sector works well, delivering consumer benefits through lower prices, better customer service, and more product choice.
'We are seeking stakeholders' views on competition in the mortgage sector. These views, together with evidence from the FCA's wider programme of work on mortgages, will help inform any future FCA work on this key sector of the economy, including any future competition market study.'
We are interested in the range of factors that might affect competition in the provision of loans secured against a property, whether regulated or unregulated, including as a result of:
- The regulatory regime (including changes introduced following the Mortgage Market Review), and any other barriers to entry, expansion or innovation.
- Consumers' ability to effectively access, assess and act on information about mortgage products and services.
- Firms' conduct and relationships.
These factors might be affected by changes in the economic environment and/or changes to the regulatory framework. We welcome comments on how this should inform the scope and timing of any future market study or further FCA work.
The Call for Inputs will close on 18 December 2015. An outline of responses received and a confirmation of whether we intend to take any further action will be set out in a Feedback Statement, to be published in the first quarter of 2016.
Notes to editors
- Read the Call for Inputs on competition in the mortgage sector.
- This Call for Inputs delivers against a specific commitment in the FCA Business Plan 2015/16 to conduct, starting in Autumn 2015, a review of barriers to competition in the mortgage sector. It forms part of the FCA's wider programme of mortgages work, including a thematic review into advice and distribution which was published earlier this summer, and further assessment of Responsible Lending which will be completed in mid-2016.
- Market studies are one of the main tools the FCA uses for examining how competition works and to assess whether it should intervene in the interests of consumers.
- On the 1 April 2013 the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) became responsible for the conduct supervision of all regulated financial firms and the prudential supervision of those not supervised by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA).
- The FCA has an overarching strategic objective of ensuring the relevant markets function well. To support this it has three operational objectives: to secure an appropriate degree of protection for consumers; to protect and enhance the integrity of the UK financial system; and to promote effective competition in the interests of consumers.
- Find out more information about the FCA.