The Council of Mortgage Lenders has no plans to release lenders’ internal product transfer data – saying it’s collected on a voluntary basis and not robust enough to be reliable.
Yesterday Martin Reynolds, the chief executive of SimplyBiz Mortgages, said the CML needs to publish the data or consumer confidence could be threatened by inaccurate reports of a market downturn in the New Year.
But a CML spokesman said: “We don’t monitor it and don’t have any plans to start monitoring it.
“It is reported to us on a voluntary basis; on the basis that those who contribute get the benefit of the insight of a rounded-up market.
“It’s a member-only resource for those who contribute.
“It’s not as robust as it doesn’t capture the size of the market like the rest of our data.
“It’s not robust enough for us to consider putting it out in the public domain nor have we collected it on the basis that it is for wider publication.”
Reynolds has suggested there could be £80bn of undocumented business, while last week Robert Sinclair, chief executive of Association of Mortgage Intermediaries, put the figure at £100bn.
Lenders that send data to the CML include Santander, as a spokeswoman confirmed: “We do report internal transfer numbers to CML.”
Reynolds wondered whether there could be more undocumented business next year which makes the market seem smaller, especially as lenders like Santander are investing in their execution-only services.
He said: “My concern is if the CML doesn’t cover product transfer numbers next year we could see them announcing the market is smaller.
“That’s a confidence issue and it’s factually incorrect.
“What we don’t want is three or four months of a perceived downturn in the mortgage market in the national press which the government then looks at.”
He added: “I think we need transparency from the CML.
“If we had full transparency of mortgage transactions we would have a better picture of how the market is performing.
“If we think it’s going to be a £240bn market this year and let’s say there’s £80bn of product transfers that’s a third.”
Last week AMI’s Sinclair raised the question of whether those staying with the same lender are typically doing so on an advised or non-advised basis.
Sinclair said: “The clear intention of MMR is to have an advised market. We want clarity on whether that’s been achieved or not.”
It is understood the CML would release the data should the Financial Conduct Authority demand it.