The Financial Services Authority has urged the European Commission to consider whether a more principles-based approach to regulation would achieve its desire to integrate mortgages across the EU.
Speaking to the European Mortgage Federation in Brussels, John Tiner, chief executive of the FSA, says he welcomes the fact the commission is following a “better regulation” approach, but he urges it to fully explore alternatives to regulation before making a decision on EU-level legislative interventions.
Tiner believes harmonising consumer protection across Member States should not be a focus of the commission’s work because it risks imposing significant costs and undermining national consumer protection measures.
Instead, he says European action should first tackle the structural barriers which hinder lenders operating across borders, including:
- Exploring improvements in the efficiency of mortgage funding arrangements and liberalising regimes which restrict mortgage lending to particular entities;
- Increasing non-discriminatory cross-border access to consumer credit data while maintaining key data protection safeguards;
- Developing trusted common valuation standards which can be widely used and understood by valuers and lending institutions;
- Raising confidence in repossession procedures; and
- Encourging the development of open access to online land registry information systems.
Tiner states: “Taking matters forward needs an assessment of the costs and benefits of each individual measure under consideration. This will highlight the proportionality of any action, as well as identifying the approach that will deliver the greatest benefits for the least cost.”
If you have any comments you would like to add to this story or would like to speak to its author about a similar subject, telephone Emily Perryman on 020 7968 4554 or email [email protected].IFAonline
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