Mortgages Market Study: MS16/2

Terms of reference
12/12/2016
Interim report
04/05/2018
Final report
26/03/2019
26/03/2019

We have published the Mortgages Market Study final report. It explains our final findings and provides a progress update on the proposed remedies.

Read MS16/2.3 final report (PDF)

MS16/2.2 interim report (PDF)

MS16/2.1 terms of reference (PDF)

Our market study

In March 2019, we published our final report. The final report sets out our vision for the mortgages market as one in which:

  • borrowers who can afford a mortgage can choose suitable and good value products and services
  • firms have a culture of treating all customers fairly
  • competition and proportionate regulation empower consumers to make effective choices before taking out, and throughout life of, a mortgage

The report explains our final findings on whether the competition in the mortgage market works for the benefit of consumers. It also includes an update on remedies.

We have sought to understand whether the consumers are empowered to choose on an informed basis between products and services and whether they are in a position to understand whether these represent good value for money.

In May 2018, we published our interim report (MS16/2.2) which set out our provisional view on the way competition works in the mortgages market and how we would like the market to develop. We also consulted on a range of proposed remedies. This followed the terms of reference (MS16/2.1) which were published in December 2016.

Our findings

We found that the mortgage market works well in many respects. Engagement is high and consumers are getting mortgages that are suitable and affordable.

However, the mortgage market falls short of our vision in some specific ways leading to harm for some consumers who pay more than they need to for their mortgage. There are limitations to the effectiveness of the tools available to help consumers choose a cheaper mortgage. Also, there are some longstanding borrowers on a relatively high reversion rate who do not or cannot switch.

Remedies

To help achieve our vision, we are proposing the following remedies:

  • seeking to speed up more widespread participation by lenders in innovative tools to help customers more easily identify what mortgages they qualify for
  • consulting on proposals (CP19/14) for new lending rules on how lenders assess whether or not a customer can afford to switch to new loan
  • also consulting, in Q2 2019, on proposals to change mortgage advice rules and guidance to help remove potential barriers to innovation
  • a proposal for the Single Financial Guidance Body to develop a directory to help customers make a more informed choice of mortgage intermediary
  • further, in-depth analysis to understand more about those customers that do not switch mortgage to inform any necessary intervention

In most cases we have sought to address issues through collaboration with industry in the first instance, rather than through rule changes.

Next steps

In Q2 2019, we will be also consulting on proposals to change mortgage advice rules and guidance to help remove potential barriers to innovation.

We will also provide further updates on remedies in due course.

On 22 May 2019, we published a research note extending findings in Occasional Paper No. 33.

Please send any comments or queries:

  • email: [email protected]
  • write to: Mortgages Market Study, Strategy & Competition Division, Financial Conduct Authority, 12 Endeavour Square, London, E20 1JN.

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