In brief

Ramesh Sharma

April 29, 2006

This is the first time a specialist lender has received The Queen’s Award.

The award recognised Kensington’s role in the specialist mortgage market in the UK since 1995 and also acknowledged Kensington’s business model, which has led to the company’s significant growth over the past 10 years.

Home reversions and Islamic mortgages get new consumer protections

The FSA has set out its plans for the future regulation of home reversion plans and home purchase plans, also known as Islamic mortgages.

The proposals have been set up to ensure that firms offering these products are fit and proper and appropriately resourced with staff competent enough to undertake this business. The FSA has also issued guidelines on consumer rights in the sector, and opportunities for redress if appropriate.

No-slicing attracts brokers to GHL

The GHL Group has reported an upturn in the number of new directly authorised (DA) brokers using its direct submission facility. This comes after its ‘no top-slicing’ enhancements, which guarantee introducers get 100 per cent of the proc fee received by the network, lender permitting, with the GHL Group charging a turnover or standard submission fee of a minimum £25 for each.

FTB’s ‘oblivious to financial reality of homebuying’

A study from IFA Promotion has revealed the majority of potential first-time buyers (FTBs) face a knowledge gap on the financial realities of property purchase.

71 per cent of potential FTBs admitted they were either completely unaware of the other products that need to be considered to accompany a mortgage, or would need advice.

Land tax ‘will stifle housing supply’

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has said affordable homes will be jeopardised by the government proposals to tax property development.

RICS chief executive, Louis Armstrong, said: “Due to the long-term nature of the planning cycle, landowners can afford to sit on land until it is most advantageous to develop it. Planning Gain Supplement (PGS) is a disincentive to bringing land forward for development and the timing couldn’t be worse.”

A&L launches product range

Alliance & Leicester (A&L) has launched a two-year Base Rate tracker, and a five-year fully flexible discount product.

Available at 4.99 per cent, the two-year tracker mortgage is available up to 95 per cent loan-to-value (LTV) with free valuation and fully flexible features.

Its five-year discount rate mortgage, at 4.79 per cent, has a product fee of £299 and is available up to 95 per cent LTV. There is no early repayment charge on this product.

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