On 6 November 2018, the FCA published a speech by Christopher Woolard (Executive Director of Strategy and Competition, FCA)entitled Fairness, flexibility and the long-term view: the FCA’s vision for the mortgage market.

In his speech Mr Woolard discusses the FCA’s mortgage market study and the regulator’s view of the mortgage sector more broadly.

Highlights in the speech include:

  • the interim findings from the FCA’s mortgage market study have shown a market largely working well. But there are challenges. For instance while many customers are active and will switch to a new mortgage after the introductory offer has expired, about a quarter don’t switch within 6 months of moving on to a reversion rate, even though many could get a better deal if they did;
  • long-term and lifetime lending is another concern and the FCA is looking to firms to use their common sense to make sure they’re matching the right products to the right consumers; and
  • mortgages are the cornerstone of retail banking. Many people carry their mortgages with them over significant periods of their life. This gives huge potential for the actions of lenders to have a lasting impact. When an injustice is felt, its effects are likely to linger, and can inform a person’s view of a company or a whole sector for decades to come. This is not only an issue of fairness, but of the efficiency of the market.