This year could be "the year of regulation and enforcement" Michael Coogan, director general of the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML), has warned.
Speaking to a packed room at the Mortgages Plc launch of its On-Demand online decision in principle platform, Coogan said while the Financial Services Authority (FSA) wanted to help intermediary firms comply with regulations, where it had already helped firms and found offers of help had not been taken up this would lead to enforcement action.
Coogan said: “Two things key things I would emphasise are the FSA want to help you and it is important we know what its expectations are and one of the key challenges for the industry is we know what the regulator expects and the regulator knows what we expect, so we are not disappointed.
“But if [the FSA] goes back to firms and finds offers of help have not been taken up then this could be the year of regulation and enforcement and we would not want that at all.”
Coogan also assured intermediaries the Mortgage Conduct of Business (MCOB) review being carried out by the regulator would not lead to changes in the rules this year. He said the MCOB review would be assessing what impact regulation of the mortgage industry had had on consumers and while this would undoubtedly produce result that would be “very interesting” there would be “no rule changes this year given the review of will not be published until quarter three whether we want them or not.”
On the subject of treating customers fairly, Coogan warned intermediaries, the FSA was “still not happy” with the nature of the sales process and if it did not see some improvements it might “take action to change the nature of that relationship.”
But he also criticised the regulator saying it was “no good just publishing press releases on [the FSA’s] website and hoping brokers will find them, “ adding the CML would like to see a return to the greater levels of communication achieved when the industry was self regulated under the Mortgage Code of Compliance Board.
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