Consumer Duty – an update

Key Consumer Duty developments and recent communications issued by both AMI and the FCA, with commentary on implications for mortgage intermediary firms…

AR regime – updated AMI Q&A and deadline reminder

Having heard back from the FCA, we have updated AMI’s Q&A documenton the AR regime. We also wanted to remind firms of the upcoming 30 November 2023 deadline…

FCA application window open for firms approving promotions for unauthorised persons

Firms that approve financial promotions for unauthorised persons have until 6th February 2024 to apply for approver permission from the FCA…

FSCS levy and compensation figures update

The FSCS has released an update on its levy and compensation figures for 2023/24, as well as anticipated levy figures for 2024/25…

AMI unveils The Perception Gap, the fourth annual Protection Viewpoint

This Viewpoint features hot topics facing the industry, including value of advice, building trust, consumer buying habits and generational views & attitudes…

Your October update from AMI Chief Executive Robert Sinclair

AMI Chief Executive Robert Sinclair gives his October update, focusing on AMI’s Protection Viewpoint, new build and Consumer Duty…

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The last 7 months have been turbulent, with more challenging times to come.  This is uncharted territory as there are no experts in governments at attempting mass population control in a pandemic.  We see money being thrown at problems in a way never imagined.  However, demand for houses and mortgages has never been stronger.  House prices are robust, people are moving and builders are open for business.  The housing market is open.  Brokers are as busy as at any time in their lives.

However, the lending industry appears to be hiding behind the curtains.  Lenders are limiting market capacity by avoiding higher LTV lending.  The service levels of some appear robust but to call many atrocious would be kind and their sudden product withdrawals continue to cause difficulty.  AMI is engaged with UK Finance, BSA, IMLA and in direct discussions with lenders to voice these concerns.

There is little sign of sudden improvements, as too many appear to want to accept they are doing all they can.  But the roof is starting to leak.  The consumer press has spotted falling base rate, lower swap rates and rising mortgage rates – not consumer friendly.  No low deposit loans available for first time buyers.  Criteria being hardened to limit approvals, but demand is still there.  Brokers are just moving to the next lender on the list, but it is more expensive.

At a time of national emergency, lenders again risk looking like the villains of the piece.  These are firms under immense stress due to having to deliver remote working, but I am not sure that their most senior execs have their eye on this ball.  Both Treasury and FCA are aware and monitoring at this point, so action might be forced.  Intermediaries have been delivering great volumes of business, more of which needs individual underwriting due to changes in the economy.  Lenders have funds to lend, but are having to limit volumes as they cannot process the amount of business you have available for them.  Not a great position overall.

For brokers, most days it feels like pushing water uphill – but that is what they do.  Some lenders need to fix their houses and get with the programme.

Robert Sinclair
Chief Executive, AMI


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