New president of the EMF
The European Mortgage Federation represents national associations of mortgage lenders across the European Union (EU), as well as in Norway and Switzerland. Together, they account for over 70% of residential and commercial mortgage lending in Europe. Total outstanding mortgage loans now amount to 3.9 trillion Euro and Europe’s residential mortgage debt is equivalent to 40% of Europe’s GDP.
The Federation’s role in Brussels is to follow the initiatives taken by the European institutions. Recently, the Federation initiated an EU-wide Code of Conduct that will standardise information on mortgage offers across Europe. Ultimately, the code should allow mortgage borrowers to compare mortgage products across Europe’s borders.
This year, the industry will focus on the Commission’s consultation documents on capital adequacy. The Commission will spell out new rules on how much own funds banks will have to keep for their mortgage portfolio. The mortgage industry believes that mortgage loans are less risky and therefore should be subject to less stringent capital requirements.
In the coming years, the European Mortgage Federation faces a number of new challenges including the future enlargement of the European Union. Indeed, the Federation recently welcomed new members from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Malta, Poland and Rumania. Mortgage markets in many of these countries are still relatively underdeveloped and one of the Federation’s objectives is to help ease their transition towards a modern mortgage market.