More information is sought on the MMR, reports FCA

The director of mortgage and consumer lending for the regulator said most firms were well prepared, but there were some that wanted more advice before the MMR was implemented on 26 April.

Her comments followed a survey of 3660 mortgage intermediaries and 172 lenders, conducted by the FCA. While 85 per cent of respondents said they were ready to implement the changes, some 15 per cent said they needed more clarification of what the changes will mean.

According to the data, approximately 550 said they would like further information on various aspects of disclosure. Another 7 per cent wanted more details on advice, training and competence.

Only 1 per cent said they might not be able to meet the 26 April deadline.

Out of 172 lenders that responded to the survey, fewer than 4 per cent asked for further information.

FCA study

3,660 mortgage intermediaries responded to the survey.

• 15% identified disclosure as the No 1 area where they wanted more information.

• 7% wanted more information on advice, training and competence.

• 85% of firms have plans in place that are either complete or partially complete – up from May last year.

172 lenders responded to the survey.

• Fewer than 4% of lenders asked for further information

From 26 April, the FCA will require the industry to take a ‘common sense approach’ to lending mortgages, with checks for every borrower to ensure they only get a mortgage they can afford.

Ms Woodall added: “Since the survey was last conducted we have seen a vast improvement in the number of firms that consider themselves to be well prepared.

“Firms that have not yet begun planning need to do so now in order to ensure they can fulfil their requirements come April.”

Paul Broadhead, head of mortgage policy at BSA, said: “It is encouraging that the FCA says that firms consider themselves to be preparing well for the launch of the new regime, and while some lenders will implement sooner than others, the vast majority have their final plans in place now.”

He added that while the FCA requires lenders to use common sense, he said it was also important the FCA took a common sense approach when “supervising” the new regime and in communicating to consumers about the changes.

Bernard Clarke, communications spokesman for the Council of Mortgage Lenders, said: “We are encouraged by the findings of the survey, which indicate that the overwhelming majority of lenders are ready to implement the new rules. Out of more than 170 lenders that responded, only seven asked for more information.”

Adviser view

David Sheehan, IFA at Purley-based Opal Financial Management, said: “Most lenders are already doing the post-MMR checks pre-MMR. They’ve been getting ready well in advance. The process we go through as advisers is so highly regulated we would be doing those checks regardless. [But] estate agents and businesses such as those are a bit more tricky.”