Out-going BSA chairman Peter Griffiths told delegates at today’s annual BSA conference: “Unfortunately, the unintended consequences of new regulation could see swathes of the UK population far less able to access financial advice and finding it much harder to get a mortgage.
“The hoops lenders will have to get consumers to jump through when they apply for a mortgage are getting higher, in fact not just high, but in some instances flaming.
“A consumer backlash could well follow.”
Griffiths added that mutuals have indicated that they intend to increase their lending activity this year and the sector is “certainly open for business”.
And he added: “Despite the potential rocks in the road that we will have to navigate, I am optimistic that the mutual sector has an edge, as banks focus ever more on de-leveraging and short-term delivery to shareholders.
“It is throwing the advantages of the mutual sector – including our ability with no shareholders to plan for the longer term plus the far more customer centric approach that we have to business – into sharp relief.”
Griffiths confirmed that in the first quarter of 2012 mutual lenders have outperformed the mortgage market as a whole with gross lending up by 40% compared to a market uplift of 11% over the first quarter last year.