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'We're yet to see the real cost-of-living crisis', CEO warns

'We're yet to see the real cost-of-living crisis', CEO warns
Photo: Nicola Barts via Pexels

"We have not see the actual cost of living crisis yet", the chief executive of the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries has warned.

Rob Sinclair said despite more certainty now from the Bank of England, amid expectations the base rate will rise to approximately 4 per cent, rather than the 6 per cent some commentators had feared, there was more pain to come.

He said: "The actual escalation in costs for people by way of rising bills going into a winter that, until now, has been relatively benign, will only begin to eat into people's costs significantly as we go through the rest this quarter and Quarter 1 next year.

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"But it is not only the energy cap [we need to be aware of] - it is also food costs and other expenses that will cause people to think about what happens next."

But he said there were bigger risks around unemployment and what happens on the high street as people have less money to spend and whether this leads to more layoffs.

Currently employment is at 4.2 per cent.

"The challenge here is this places a lot of responsibility on advisers, many of whom have not been in this sort of economic situation before, so we need to be flexible about the sort of solutions we can put in place", Sinclair added.

He also pointed to a lack of joined-up housing policy, with the UK now on its 21st housing minister since 2001 - and the fourth in 2022 alone.

Sinclair recently joined Lewis Shaw, founder of Riverside Mortgages, and Jane King, adviser for Ash Ridge, on an FTAdviser podcast.

The guests discussed what intermediaries should do to help take the panic and emotion out of clients' decision-making, and what sort of communication would be helpful for clients and potential clients during these uncertain times.

When asked whether he worried about unemployment outside of London, Lewis said: "Thankfully, in this scenario, the areas I am (Mansfield and Teeside) in will be relatively well protected. 

"There are a lot of manufacturing and logistics companies, as well as skilled manual jobs that still need to take place. 

"Even though it will get difficult, the areas I am in will be relatively well protected."

"People will still need bread and coffins."