CML offers helping hand in Guardianship (Missing Persons) Act

Ryan Bembridge

May 4, 2017

The Council of Mortgage Lenders has pledged to work closely with whatever government is elected to administer the Guardianship (Missing Persons) Act 2017.

The act, which was given Royal Assent on 27 April, will allow the close relatives of missing people to manage their finances.

The now disbanded government had pledged to underpin the act with regulations within 12 months.

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Bernard Clarke, communications manager at the CML, wrote in the News & Views section of the trade body’s website:  “When the new government is elected, we would be pleased to work closely with it to help ensure those regulations work for lenders and their customers.

“It will help lenders and their customers by providing a welcome and practical way of helping people who go missing – and their families.

“Over and above the obvious worry this causes, families are often left with no means of administering the financial affairs of a missing person.”

More than 80,000 adults are reported missing every year in Britain, with as many as 1,500 not being heard from for more than 12 months.

Clarke went on to suggest the new government should provide a quick and reliable way of showing whether a guardian has the right to the information.

He also reckoned the Office of the Public Guardian should keep a record of guardianship orders.

Clarke added: “Lenders will also want to be confident that their liability is limited if they administer a mortgage under the instructions of a guardian, or if they act in good faith without knowing that a guardianship order is now no longer valid.

“For these reasons, the next steps are crucial to ensure that the legislation becomes effective in practice, so that it can be of practical benefit when someone goes missing.”

The bill was introduced by Thirsk Conservative MP Kevin Hollinrake in January.

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