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Mortgages and multi-asset: this week in news

Mortgages and multi-asset: this week in news

This week’s news was dominated by mortgage market regulation, multi-asset fund launches and movements within networks.

But that’s enough alliteration, let’s get stuck into the five most important things on the site during the last five days:

1. Mortgages back on the agenda.

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On Monday and Wednesday, the who’s who of the mortgage lending industry descended on Westminster for two separate conferences, debating all the relevant issues of the day.

FTAdviser’s intrepid reporter was covering both, coming back with news of a forthcoming Financial Conduct Authority review into market competition, with a particular focus on what can be done to increase growth in the equity release space.

At the day hosted by the FCA, the Council of Mortgage Lenders’ chairman Moray McDonald had the cheek to give the regulator - along with the rest of the industry - a ‘must do better’ report card, especially with regard to first-time-buyers.

Later in the week, at a Westminster Business Forum-hosted morning, the FCA’s technical mortgage specialist Keith Hale, gave his overview of forthcoming changes, paying particular attention to what the EU Mortgage Credit Directive will mean for those currently advising on second charge mortgages.

Of course the MMR was never far from debate, with a man from RBS arguing that it was only now that lenders were able to think again about product innovation following a year-and-a-half of concentrating on compliance.

2. Sesame’s saga continues...

Also on Wednesday, Sesame Bankhall Group confirmed the results of its strategic business review, the most newsworthy being head of mortgages John Cupis’ departure after eight years leading that side of the business.

Within hours of the announcement, he had popped up as the new mortgage director of rival firm Openwork, completing the restructuring of their core distribution business.

Back at Sesame Bankhall Group, managing director Stephen Gazard will be supported by Lisa Martin, currently director of operations and sales, who is taking on the expanded role as director of mortgages.

3. ...while the pension minister reveals her true colours.

News broke this week that the Conservative-appointed pensions minister Ros Altmann was in-fact still a member of the Labour party.

We dug a bit deeper into the initial story, to get the Department for Work and Pensions pointing out that as a policy adviser previously she had taken up membership of three major parties.

“The story here is surely that despite the Labour Party boasting of its scrupulous checking they still sent a Conservative Minister a voting form,” commented a DWP spokesman.

Ms Altmann herself came out on Twitter the following day to deny that she had voted in the Labour leadership election and confirm the DWP line, with our editor today stating that surely it is better to have a minister concentrating more on the subject of pensions than party politics.