Industry pours scorn on seven day switching proposal

Ryan Bembridge

November 3, 2016

Lenders and brokers have branded the government’s seven day switching proposal as unworkable and simply a bad idea.

An Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association Member Survey for the second half of 2016 found that 81% of lenders and 66% of brokers felt plans to help customers remortgage in under a week are unlikely to work.

The proposal was labelled a bad idea by 59% of lenders and 41% of brokers, with 22% and 33% seeing it as a positive.

Peter Williams (pictured), executive director of IMLA, said: “The industry is clearly sceptical about the chances of the seven-day switching scheme being implemented effectively in the mortgage market, and whether it will indeed benefit consumers.

“Lenders and brokers both agree that balancing key parts of the approval process – such as getting valuations and fulfilling risk and regulatory requirements – will be difficult to reconcile with reducing switching time to just seven days.

“It is clear the industry believes reducing mortgage switching to such a short window is incompatible with responsible lending practices.”

The remortgage market has gone from strength to strength this year on account of anxieties about the Brexit vote in combination with interest rates being cut to 0.25%.

Indeed, August gross remortgage lending was 41% higher than a year ago at £5.9bn, Council of Mortgage Lenders figures show.

Lenders and brokers are positive about remortgage growth continuing, with 59% and 43% expecting it to set the pace in the second half of 2016 ahead of the first-time buyer market.

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